G20 Addresses Food Aid, Advocates React To Commitments

The G20 said the World Bank trust fund for agricultural investment in poor countries that they called for on Friday “should be designed so that money will be disbursed quickly and countries can decide for themselves where they want it spent,” Reuters reports. Leaders, who wrapped up their meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week, said, “We call on the World Bank to work with interested donors and organizations to develop a multilateral trust fund to scale up agricultural assistance to low-income countries.”

According to Reuters, “[a]gricultural investment in poor countries has shrunk over the last decade as development agencies focused more on health issues, including malaria and HIV/AIDS.” The G20 set forth no timeline for the fund’s creation, the news service reports (Wroughton, 9/25).

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examines advocates’ reaction to commitments made at the summit, which include, “the need to help poor countries weather the tumultuous financial climate; reform the membership of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to include more of the poorest countries; carry forward the framework of the G8 agreement on food security in Italy; and to deliver on the $100 billion the G-8 promised to loan developing countries.”

Save the Children’s Michael Klosson said, “[W]e urge the G20 to go beyond what they said in Pittsburgh. To acknowledge that development aid is the very foundation for an economic recovery.” Nine million children under age 5 will die this year from mostly treatable or preventable causes, according to Klosson (9/26).

The full Leaders’ Statement from the summit is available online.

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