Trade takes from the poor
- Rigged trade rules cost the developing world $700 billion a year, according to the UN.
- The three richest people in the world control more wealth than all 600 million people living in the world's poorest countries.
- International trade is worth $10 million a minute. But poor countries only account for 0.4% of this trade. Indeed, their share is actually half what it was in 1980.
- Nearly half the world's population (2.8 billion people) live on less than $2 per day. And more than 800 million go hungry every day.
- Income per person in the poorest countries in Africa has fallen by a quarter in the past 20 years.
- The average EU cow is subsidised to the tune of around $800. Ethiopia's total national income, per person per year, is around $100.
Who’s in charge?
- The world's 50 poorest countries have less than 3% of the vote at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an institution which, along with the World Bank, decides how money should be lent to poor countries – and under what conditions.
- The US, the UK, Germany, France and Japan have nearly 40 per cent of the vote between them. Only America has the power of veto.
- In 2003, Ghana’s government passed laws to protect its struggling rice growers from subsidised imports. The IMF forced it to tear up the law after it had been passed. Now the US provides 40% of Ghana’s rice.
- The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is where countries set the rules of global trade. Each member country has an equal vote, but a lot depends on the number of delegates countries can afford to send.
- At the WTO summit in Hong Kong in December 2005, the EU had a record-breaking 832 delegates, the US 356, Japan 229. At the other end of the scale, 46 countries had fewer than 10 delegates; Central African Republic had none at all.
Information source: Christian Aid