More than 1.4 billion people live in poverty so extreme that they can barely survive, and around 25,000 people die from hunger each day whilst a new billionaire is created every second day. The call for a global safety net has never been so urgent - and compels the international community to transform economic priorities and guarantee the universal securing of basic human needs.
Campaigners have long proposed measures to reduce extreme inequality, but policymakers remain fixated on an economic model that threatens to undermine the fabric of society. When will the political elite heed the growing demands for redistribution that are being voiced in countless reports, books and public protests?
The recent documentary and debate series called 'Why Poverty?' highlighted the extreme differences in living standards and life chances around the world, and once again emphasised that there can never be an end to poverty
until the world's resources are more equally shared.
The international goal to cut hunger levels in half by 2015 will not be reached, as indicated by the latest global hunger index report. Yet hunger is
not connected to the availability of food but to poor people’s
possibilities of accessing food, writes Social Watch.
Addressing inequality is crucial for delivering the promise to eradicate extreme global poverty. When seen through a child’s lens, it is also an important objective in its own right that should be reflected as an urgent international goal, argues a report by Save the Children.
The idea of a ‘citizen’s income’ may sound unfeasible, but this is exactly how it
already is in Alaska and in Iran, in parts of Namibia and Brazil, and
will soon be in Mongolia. People like Tom Paine and Bertrand Russell have been advocating
it since the 1790s, and perhaps its time has come, argues Bill Jordan.
An Economist special report on the world economy says that growing inequality is one of the biggest social,
economic and political challenges of our time, and recognises that inequality is not inevitable - even if it's prescriptions are controversial. Cover piece by Zanny Minton Beddoes.
Most people are not protected against unemployment, illness, disability, crop failure or soaring food costs. But investing in social protection would save on emergency relief, argues the UN. By Mark Tran.