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What is the G7 and why is it important in 2022?

G7 2021 summit. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
G7 2021 summit. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

26th June will see the start of the next G7 summit, hosted by Germany. Here we explain what the G7 is and why this meeting is important.

What is the G7?

The Group of Seven, more commonly known as the G7, is an organisation made up of: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

What is the purpose of the G7?

The G7, originally G8 (before Russia was uninvited), was set up in 1975 as an informal forum of leaders from the world’s most advanced economies. The G7 holds annual summits that provide a platform that can shape political responses to global challenges. Because of their wealth and power, the group is positioned to make things happen around the world.

What has the G7 achieved?

The G7 claims that it has taken action to strengthen the global economy, saved 27 million lives from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and supported the education of millions of children in the poorest countries. In 2015, its members led the way in helping secure the historic Paris Climate Agreement to limit global emissions.

When and where does the G7 take place?

The summits are held annually, and hosted on a rotation basis by the group's members. Last year, the UK held the G7 presidency and it was the turn of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to host the event. The world’s leaders gathered in Cornwall at Carbis Bay, near St Ives.

This year, the 48th summit is scheduled to be held in Schloss Elmau, Krün, Bavarian Alps, Germany.

Why is the G7 important this year?

This year, the global humanitarian situation is dire. We have been hearing alarm bells of hunger resulting from recurrent drought in East Africa since 2021. Right now, one person is likely to die of hunger every 48 seconds in drought-ravaged Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia [Dangerous Delay].

Afghanistan also continues to face acute food insecurity, while the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the largest number of people facing a crisis or worse levels of hunger. Covid-19 has dramatically affected health, nutrition, and inequalities – exacerbating these for people living in poverty, and the situation in Ukraine has further exacerbated hunger worldwide

What is on the G7 agenda?

We don't know exactly what is on their agenda, however, we do know what we hope to see.

While we welcome the commitments made by the G7  to address pressing and future humanitarian crises such as through the Famine Compact last year, as well as the G7 statement last month regarding the need to scale up anticipatory action, with more than 270 million men, women and children across the world in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, we need the right levels of investment to allow for action on the ground to work with the poorest communities to cope with ongoing crises, and not just more commitments.

Keep an eye out for our piece outlining what exactly the G7 can do about rising world hunger levels, coming up.

We can prevent the next famine if we act now

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