The issues of hunger, nutrition and the health of women and children were raised at the G20 Summit of the world’s twenty major economies, in Los Cabos, Mexico last week. Commitments made at previous summits were restated but concrete actions were in short supply. The Eurozone financial crisis and stimulating growth for jobs dominated discussions and took priority in terms of what was agreed to take action on.
Carlos Zarco, Executive Director, Oxfam Mexico said: “This is a hugely disappointing outcome for developing countries. Europe’s crisis must be fixed because it’s becoming a serious drain on developing countries. But it is not good enough for the G20 to have fought over growth versus austerity in Europe. Leaders failed to keep the World’s poorest in their sights, despite the fact that more than half these people live in G20 countries.”
India, a G20 member, is estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. According to a 2012 World Bank estimate, 37% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line of US$1.5 a day. The latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found in India, whilst 42 percent of the nation’s children under five years of age are underweight.
The HOPE Foundation is working on the ground in Calcutta with 16 Indian NGOs to break the cycle of abject poverty. Maureen Forrest, Hon Director of HOPE says: “We cannot wait for someone else to take action. Every small step makes a difference. We rescue and support children to stay healthy, to go to school and to have and experience childhood, which is their right.”
The HOPE Foundation, with support from Irish Aid, is funding and running over 60 projects in education, health care, child protection and drug rehabilitation.