Australian NFPs Weigh In On G20
21 June 2012 at 9:53 am
Not for Profit aid organisations Oxfam Australia and Save the Children have commended Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her British and Canadian counterparts on a new initiative to assist farmers in developing countries at the G20 Summit.
However they say too much attention was given to fixing the Eurozone.
Speaking at the G20 Summit in Mexico, Gillard announced the AgResults program aimed at developing food production in developing countries.
Oxfam Australia said that the investment in small-scale farmers and fishers was good news for people who make up 80 per cent of the world’s poor.
Oxfam Australia Economic Justice Advocacy Coordinator Kelly Dent said Oxfam Australia welcomed AgResults’ focus on the world’s poor and hungry small-scale farmers.
“Small-scale farmers and fishers make up almost 80 per cent of the world’s hungry, and receive very little support, so we welcome Prime Minister Gillard’s attempt to buck the trend, and focus investment on this important group,” Dent said.
“If done well, the AgResults approach can provide incentives for the private sector to come up with innovative solutions for the world’s poor and hungry small farmers.
“However, AgResults must maintain transparency of its pilot programs and engage with small-scale farmer representative organisations, specifically including women, to ensure incentives are targeted towards the needs of the poorest farmers, and not the needs of the private sector.”
Save the Children’s Policy and Advocacy Advisor Nicole Cardinal commended the Australian Government for supporting the AgResults Initiative to boost agricultural production in
“Australia should now support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative so that it is well placed in 2014 to ensure the G20 agenda includes practical measures to alleviate global poverty. Other key G20 members including the US, UK, Canada and Japan have already endorsed the SUN initiative,” she said.
Oxfam International were critical of the G20 event for sideling development and food security with leaders instead “absorbed with disagreements about how to fix the Eurozone”.
Oxfam International spokesperson Carlos Zarco said the summit lost sight of developing countries and volatile food prices.
“Leaders failed to keep the world’s poorest in their sights, despite the fact that more than half these people live in G20 countries,” Zarco said.
“This is a hugely disappointing outcome for developing countries. Europe’s crisis must be fixed because it is becoming a serious drain on developing countries. But it’s not good enough for the G20 to have fought over growth versus austerity in Europe.
“This collective failure of political will is shocking, and must be dealt with in the last months of Mexico’s G20 Presidency. Poor people and poor countries deserve nothing less.”