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26 March, 2009

G20 warned unrest will sweep globe

A wave of social and political unrest could sweep through the world's poorest countries if G20 leaders fail to come to their aid, the World Bank warns today, as new research says the credit crunch will cost developing countries $750bn (£520bn) in lost output and drive millions more into poverty.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director of the World Bank, is urging G20 leaders to use the London summit in less than a fortnight's time to help protect the developing world against the worst effects of the financial crisis.

"We have to look at the impact of this on low income countries. Otherwise, without wanting to sound alarmist, social unrest and political crisis could be the result. It's in the self-interest of everyone to prevent that," she told the Observer

Her stark warning came as a new report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said the collapse of the global economy would cost 90 million lives, lead to an increase to nearly a billion in the number of people going hungry and cost developing countries $750bn in lost growth.

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