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A ray of hope

The communique is out.  The talks are over.  The leaders are doing their press conferences.

Here’s what we’ve just issued to the media (I’ll come back with a proper blog in a little while – it’s a bit mad here now!):

G20 summit is ‘ray of hope’ for world’s poorest children

Save the Children said the G20 summit offered “a ray of hope” for the world’s poorest children but warned that pledges in a communiqué mean little unless they are followed by action.

“Nobody should imagine this summit is anything more than a beginning” said Adrian Lovett, Save the Children’s Director of Campaigns. “A communiqué feeds no one and words alone do not save a child’s life. But there is a ray of hope from today’s summit that leaders may have grasped the chance to point the world in a fairer, more just direction. Everything now depends on what those leaders do next.

“Poorer nations have been hit harder than anyone else in this financial meltdown. Up to 2.8 million additional lives could be lost in low-income countries by 2015. Low income countries are facing a dramatic decline in their own economies and aid is therefore even more vital to them today.”
Save the Children’s said success would be judged on the implementation of four key announcements from the summit:

  • The important stimulus package agreed at the summit must now deliver real benefits for the world’s poorest, who have been hardest hit by the downturn.
  • The clear recommitment from all countries to deliver on their aid promises, despite the downturn, must be enacted by all donor countries
  • The promise to increase aid from development banks to poorer countries must deliver genuinely new resources focused on the needs of the poorest
  • The promise to work on ways to increase social protection measures that put cash in the hands of the poorest families must be pursued with vigour

“We now need to see a burst of energy to deliver on today’s promises, and a commitment to live up to the spirit of the agreement as well as the letter. We are in the middle of an exceptional crisis and exceptional action is needed to deal with it,” said Adrian Lovett.

“G20 leaders have said that they will do whatever is necessary to revive their own economies. With equal urgency they should do whatever it takes to protect the world’s poorest children from a financial crisis that will deprive millions of them of a decent future.”

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