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G7 owes $13.3 trillion unpaid aid to low- and middle-income countries

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-05-18 10:28

A woman walks past a "G7 Hiroshima" flower installation near the Peace Memorial Museum, ahead of the G7 summit, in Hiroshima, Japan, May 17, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The wealthy Group of Seven (G7) countries owe low- and middle-income countries $13.3 trillion in unpaid aid and support for climate action, according to Oxfam International.

A press release was published Wednesday on Oxfam official website before the G7 Summit, which is to be held in Hiroshima, Japan. Oxfam said G7 countries and their bankers are demanding that Global South countries pay $232 million debt despite failing to pay what they themselves owe.

"Wealthy G7 countries like to cast themselves as saviors but what they are is operating a deadly double standard," said Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar. "It's the rich world that owes the Global South. The aid they promised decades ago but never gave. The huge costs from climate damage caused by their reckless burning of fossil fuels. The immense wealth built on colonialism and slavery."

According to Oxfam, G7 leaders are meeting at a moment where billions of workers' pays are being cut and food prices are soaring. Global hunger has been rising, while, for the first time in 25 years, there has been a simultaneous increase in extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

Oxfam explained how they calculated the number. G7 countries are failing to meet the promise of providing $100 billion per year from 2020 to 2025 to help poorer countries cope with climate change. It is estimated that G7 countries have caused $8.7 trillion for the devastating losses and damages their excessive carbon emissions have caused in low- and middle-income countries. Besides, these rich countries in 1970 agreed to provide 0.7 percent of their gross national income in aid, and since then a total of $4.49 trillion to the world's poorest countries has been left unpaid – more than half of what has promised.

Behar believes that this money could have brought changes. " It could have paid for children to go to school, hospitals and life-saving medicines, improving access to water, better roads, agriculture and food security, and so much more," he said. "The G7 must pay its due. This isn't about benevolence or charity - it's a moral obligation."

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