As global income gap grows, poor need more aid
DEVELOPMENT aid is failing to improve the lives of the poorest 20 percent of the world’s population, according to a report published yesterday that predicted growing global inequality.
Poverty rates were halved under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and replaced in 2015 with 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, inequality and other global crises.
However, the overall drop in poverty rates has been accompanied by a widening income gap between the most impoverished and the rest of the population, according to a report by Britainbased Development Initiatives.
“It’s not to say we are not doing good things with that aid money, but we’re not using it as effectively as we could if our ambition is genuinely to end extreme poverty,” said Amy Dodd, a development finance expert at the research consultancy.
Richer nations need to meet their donor commitments and direct aid more toward those “left behind,” the authors said.
The average income of the poorest 20 percent of the global population was US$0.94 a day in 1990. Adjusted for inflation, it stands at US$1.73 today, while the widely-recognized benchmark for measuring extreme poverty is US$1.90 a day.
The average earnings of the rest of the population grew from US$12.85 in 1990 to US$18.63 today, according to the report.
If nothing changes, the gap in earnings between the poorest people and the rest of the population will grow to close to US$19 by 2030, which would be almost double what it was in 1990.
The poorest 20 percent of the world’s population are often minorities, those living in conflict or post-conflict countries, people in nations with fragile governments, and those most affected by climate change, according to the report.
“Development in the next 10 years is going to be about dealing with fragility and it is something that we can no longer avoid, so we have to get much smarter at that,” said Dan Coppard, research director at Development Initiatives.
The future is especially bleak for people in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Mali and Benin, as well as Syria and Afghanistan.