G20 leaders urged not to forget world's poor


G20 leaders urged not to forget world's poor
The G20 leaders have been urged not to forget the world's poorest nations as discussions begin into tackling the global financial crisis.

Speaking ahead of the summit at the ExCel centre today, the development charity ActionAid called on the world leaders to "seize the opportunity to rebuild an economy that works better for poorer countries and poor people".

Claire Melamed, head of policy at ActionAid said in a statement: "Every day ActionAid hears stories from around the world of how this crisis is throwing development into reverse.

"As jobs are lost and children get pulled out of school what was a financial crisis is turning into a humanitarian catastrophe. The G20 leaders must not sit by and let this happen."

She continued: "If these talks are to live up to the hype of 'saving the world' they must agree new money to support poor countries now, and a change in the rules to make the system work better for poor people in the future."

As well as agreeing a rescue package for poor countries, the charity has called for a "fundamental reform" of the international financial institutions so they become more representative and more transparent.

Measures to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion are also called for.

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