It could be the opportunity of a generation.
The world can be proud of the progress made towards ending poverty - as I see for myself when I visit the toughest places, the cynics have been proven wrong by successful efforts to combat disease, to increase access to drinking water sources, and to get girls into school. But, as Oxfam witnesses in work on the ground, and as the expert number-crunchers attest, the completion of this progress is now jeopardized by extreme inequality.
If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. It’s a startling fact, and one that demonstrates the importance of getting children in the world’s poorest countries into school and learning
Two major injustices – inequality and climate change – are threatening to undermine the efforts of millions of people to escape poverty and hunger. By concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a few, inequality robs the poorest people of the support they need to improve their lives. And as climate change devastates crops and livelihoods, it undoes poor people’s efforts to feed their families.
I have joined global decision makers in Maputo this week for the IMF and Mozambiquan government’s joint “Africa Rising” conference, to take stock of Africa’s economic performance, resilience and challenges.
Much of Africa’s impressive economic growth over the last decade has been driven by new discoveries of oil, natural gas and mineral reserves. The continent has six of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. This growth is worth celebrating.
Oxfam’s report showing how developing countries have been marginalised in the process of reforming the rules for taxing multinational enterprises has been well received – unsurprisingly, perhaps, since the evidence of political marginalisation and of lost revenues is fairly clear.
After the world was plunged into a financial crisis, back in 2009, G20 leaders promised to clean up the international tax system, once and for all.
People want dignity, people want rights
In the global survey World We Want 2015, health was the first priority of people living in poor countries. This was not surprising. Every year in Africa, nearly a quarter of a million children under five die because their parents cannot afford to pay for treatment. According to the World Health Organization, 150 million people face catastrophic healthcare costs every year, while 100 million are pushed into poverty because of direct payments.
Today we are launching a new report, ‘Working for the Many: Public Services Fight Inequality.’ This is the next in Oxfam’s series of reports looking at the scandalous gap between rich and poor that is undermining poverty reduction, and putting the power increasingly in the hands of elites the world over.
The Robin Hood Tax as Future News: featuring Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy, Clémence Poésy, Heike Makatsch and Javier Cámara
Following the devastating financial crisis it’s been great to see banks winning back hearts and minds by helping those who were hit the hardest, embracing tough new regulations, and slashing bonuses... Right?
Sometimes it’s tempting to try and rewrite the past, but what about the future? What would you like to see the news reporting in ten years time?