WASHINGTON – Responding to the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting today, Nadia Daar, Head of Oxfam’s Washington DC Office, said:
“The G20 is not delivering on its promise to rebalance the global economy and provide major relief. It has simply extended a freeze on bilateral debt-service payments through year-end, pushing the can down the road once again. If debt cancellation is not part of the solution, the world’s poorest countries will continue to struggle to cope with the pandemic and its devastating effects.
“To make matters worse, developing countries are forced to borrow even more money to pay for scarce and costly vaccines. The G20 is right to recognize the need to rapidly step up production and distribution of vaccines but has dismally failed to challenge pharmaceutical monopolies and insist that vaccine technology is openly shared to enable the needed huge scale-up in global vaccine supply. Unless they put people before profits, we will not see vaccines in the arms of everyone who needs them for a long time.
“The US Treasury’s proposition of a minimum corporate tax rate of 21 percent for the US domestic market has buoyed hope for successfully brokering a truly ambitious and historic global agreement on international corporate tax reform later this summer. Crucially, any deal must ensure a fair deal for low-income countries.
“We have high expectations that IMF governors meeting tomorrow will support a new $650 billion SDR allocation. Low-income countries’ share would be enough to nearly double their healthcare spending for a year. But we know this will not be nearly enough. The IMF has said low-income countries need to deploy up to $450 billion to fight this pandemic. We call on G20 leaders to use the opportunity of this issuance to boost their own aid commitments and cancel debt.”