Join Us

Sign up to join a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty.

By submitting above you agree to the Oxfam America privacy policy.

Thank you for joining!

Want us to keep you updated by text message? Provide us with your mobile phone number.

By submitting above you agree to the Oxfam America privacy policy.

Welcome to our community!

We’ll provide you with information and tools you need to take on the injustice of poverty.

Close

Sign up to join a global movement of people working to end the injustice of poverty.

We can do this.

You’re smart, passionate, and care about people. We do too. Let’s join forces and end poverty—sign up for our emails today.

Thank you for joining

Want us to keep you updated by text message? Provide us with your mobile phone number.

Please enter a valid mobile phone number

Welcome to our community

We’ll provide you with information and tools you need to take on the injustice of poverty.

Bank bailout could end poverty for 50 years

By

WASHINGTON, DC — The $8.42 trillion promised by rich country governments to bailout banks would be enough to end extreme global poverty for 50 years and a significant step towards ending it forever, said international agency Oxfam today ahead of the meeting of G-20 leaders in London on Thursday.

Oxfam says G-20 leaders could make a critical difference to the world's poorest people by diverting a tiny fraction of the bailout money to provide an economic stimulus, social safety nets and health services for those affected by the economic crisis.

Oxfam is calling for a $580 billion-a-year rescue package for poor countries made up of an immediate fiscal stimulus for the poorest countries of at least $24 billion, debt relief and fulfillment of existing pledges to increase development aid.

Urgent action is also needed to crackdown on tax havens, which deprive developing countries of hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue every year—much more than they receive in development aid.

"When you look at the amount of money that has been found for banks it seems inconceivable that G-20 leaders will stand aside and allow the economic crisis to destroy poor people' lives," said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.

"Developing countries are reeling from dramatic declines in trade, remittances and foreign investment. Rich governments whose policies contributed to the crisis have a responsibility to help those who cannot afford their own bailouts.

"Without urgent action, hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people will fall further into poverty. Losing your job is devastating wherever it happens but for millions people in poor countries, without benefits and health services to fall back on, unemployment will push them into destitution."

An Oxfam report, published earlier this week, revealed women are hit hardest and are often the first to lose their jobs as countries slide into recession. For many, in developing countries the recession comes on top of high fuel and food prices that have already stretched communities to breaking point.

Oxfam is pressing for rich country governments to promote a 'green new deal' by ensuring their domestic rescue packages help tackle climate change by accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Oxfam is also calling for reform of international financial institutions, including the IMF and World Bank, to give developing countries a real say in the decisions that affect them.

"We cannot return to the situation where the greed of the richest was allowed to take precedence over the needs of millions," said Offenheiser. "G-20 leaders have a real opportunity to take a significant step towards a fairer, more sustainable world."

Share this article:

Related content

Page

Oxfam America

Oxfam is a global movement of people working to end the injustice of poverty. Together we save lives, create lasting solutions, and hold the powerful accountable.

Page

Our work

Nearly one out of every three of us lives in poverty. But we see a future in which no one does. Explore our work to see how.

Oxfam.org Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+