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.
Global trade and average per capita income have grown faster in the first decade of the 21st century than the decades before, but progress against poverty slowed down. Macroeconomic performance and human well-being do not go hand in hand, concludes a report by Social Watch.
Direct cash transfers to supplement the income of those living on less than $1.25 a day could offer a simple solution to ‘absolute’ poverty. With a price tag of approximately $100 billion, a payment program would cost less than the value of current aid flows, says Charles Kenny.
The world’s richest individuals have now recouped the losses they suffered after the 2008 banking crisis. They now hold more wealth than ever before, while the majority of people suffer from austerity measures enacted by cash-strapped governments, reveals a report by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch.
Given the total income and wealth available in the world today, we could easily overcome global poverty. The challenge is to dismantle the procedures and institutions which favour the affluent in order to increase the influence of the poor, says Thomas Pogge in an interview with Keane Bhatt.
Social protection is not only about installing safety nets for poor and vulnerable people. If delivered well, it can act as a surprisingly powerful tool for strengthening citizens' rights and achieving social justice, argues Stephen Devereux.
The latest data shows that rising inequality between and within countries is responsible for worrying dysfunctions across societies, from health and social problems to political instability. It’s time to place equity at the centre of development efforts, says a report by UNICEF.
There is nothing fated about a world of 9 billion people in 2050, or ever, so long as we can meet the needs of women and their partners for
personal control of pregnancy. But this will require the strong support of a global social movement to promote
universal access to family-planning services, writes Robert Engelman.