As the G8 Summit, to be held July 8-10 in L’Aquila, Italy, nears, Oxfam International has taken the opportunity to report that climate change will amplify hunger and poverty.
Oxfam announced July 6 that millions of the world’s poor could perish as a result of the economic crisis, rising food prices and climate change. In poor countries, climate change is causing seasons to shift, which in turn ruins harvests, the British group says. Severe weather due to climate change is also destroying homes in poor countries and livelihoods, it says.
The report, Suffering the Science: Climate Change, People and Poverty, warns that inhabitants of poor countries, particularly outdoor workers and agricultural laborers, are suffering losses to their livelihoods and serious health affects as temperatures rise. The report’s introduction is accompanied by a photograph of Bangladeshi woman trudging through flood waters, searching for drinking water following a May 2009 cyclone that caused flooding undoubtedly exacerbated by rising sea levels due to climate change.
Oxfam said that according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), G8 countries lag by as much as $23 billion in the pledges they made in 2005 to increase annual aid by $50 billion in five years. Oxfam specifically criticized Italy, as G8 host, and France for cutting aid to poor countries.
OECD, launched in 1961 as a group dedicated to world and regional economics, is comprised of a staff and 30 member countries. OECD has said that OECD-member governments provided less funding to farmers in 2008 than in 2007 and 2006, mainly due to the rise in agricultural commodity prices rather than to policy decisions.