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Development organizations demand money from the G-7

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder receives American President Joe Biden at Munich Airport. The G-7 summit begins today in Elmau, Bavaria.

Susan Walsh/AP

(dpa) At the start of the G-7 summit, development organizations are insisting on concrete commitments and decisions by the participating states. Dirk Bathe from World Vision Germany welcomed the initiatives that have already been launched to combat hunger and climate change. “But we demand concrete statements on financing and concrete proposals for implementing the ideas,” he told the German Press Agency. “Empty promises don’t fill empty stomachs,” Bathe said. “Insubstantial announcements will not stop climate change.”

In May, the G-7 development ministers proclaimed an “alliance for global food security” in response to the supply crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), in turn, advocates a “climate club”. Civil society organizations hope that the two initiatives will be filled with more life at the summit in Elmau, Bavaria, from Sunday to Tuesday. In addition to host Germany, the G-7 also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and Great Britain. Also present as guests at the summit are representatives from Indonesia, India, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina.

Friederike Meister, Germany director of Global Citizen, an organization that fights extreme poverty, called for financial commitments. “The major crises in the world are getting worse, but the money from rich countries for everyone’s economic recovery does not reflect that.” Referring to the topics of the first working sessions on Sunday, she said: “The G-7 must now prioritize investments in the world’s poorest countries – they must not be forgotten in the talks on global economic development and infrastructure investments.”

Meister demanded a clear commitment from the G-7 to invest at least 0.7 percent of their economic power in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Like many other countries, Germany has committed itself to spending 0.7 percent of gross national income on development work. Gross national income is a measure of economic output.

“The G-7 carry around this decades-old promise without actually implementing it,” criticized Meister. Last year only 0.32 percent was spent on development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Additional funds are needed for the poorest countries in the world.

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