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G20 Countries Could Tax Foreign Exchange To Help Achieve U.N. MDGs, Opinion Piece Says

The G20 countries “could help both the poor and the global economy by fully financing lagging efforts to fight poverty and disease worldwide, and the best way to do this would be to impose a very small tax on the prosperous foreign exchange industry,” Philippe Douste-Blazy, a former French foreign minister who is a special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on innovative financing, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

The U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDG) “are meant to be reached by 2015. Morally and practically, the world must try harder to keep these promises,” Douste-Blazy writes, adding that “there is an enormous shortfall in the level of outside aid needed to reach the goals the world has set.” According to Douste-Blazy, “the foreign currency market, which handles almost $800 trillion in trades annually, all of which is untaxed” is the “one untapped source that could easily provide the amount of money needed” to help achieve MDG targets. He describes how the tax could be collected and explains what similar programs have already accomplished. “President Obama and other G-20 leaders should harness the mighty foreign exchange market in the service of better health for all,” he concludes (9/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.