Faith Groups Question Worth of G20 Deal

Aid agencies have questioned whether the G20 agreement reached in London last week will really help the poorest in the world become better off.

The G20 agreed on a $1 trillion deal to help deal with the recession and said they would take strong action against tax havens.

The Put People First Coalition of 160 organizations, including Christian Aid, Tearfund, and World Vision, questioned whether the deal really signaled a break from the "failed policies that brought about the global crisis."

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One member of the coalition, Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC), said it welcomed the G20's recommitment to debt relief, but added it was concerned that IMF loans could come with strings attached.

"It is imperative that the IMF immediately stops attaching damaging austerity conditions to its funding, and that funding for the poorest countries comes mainly in the form of grants," JDC said, as reported by the Church Times.

In addition, Paul Cook of Tearfund, said that more should have been done to link financial support to fighting climate change.

He said, "With no clear commitment to ensure that stimulus money is invested in low-carbon technology, the world risks a recovery which is based in business as usual. It locks us into a path which will result in runaway climate change and devastating impacts for the world's poorest community."

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York noted that political and religious leaders had a duty "to look at the faces of the poor around the world and act with justice, to think with compassion and to look with hope to a sustainable vision of the future."

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