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Reducing inequalities – a sustainable development challenge

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Reducing inequalities – a sustainable development challenge

An initiative of the European Commission seeks to enhance knowledge and understanding of economic and social inequalities in order to better respond to this complex development challenge. The Inequality Facility Support Programme is focusing on one of the most pressing development challenges of the world today, inequalities. In a world in which more people are being lifted out of poverty, extreme inequalities, both within and between countries, remain immense and urgent for many around the world. There are still more than 800 million people living in extreme poverty, while 1 % of the world’s population controls more than 50 % of its wealth. Over recent decades, income inequality has been on the rise and is currently at rates rarely seen before in history. In developing countries, inequality has increased by 11 % and is getting worse, with more than 75 % of people in developing countries living in countries where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s. ENHANCING KNOWLEDGE FOR BETTER POLICIES: These widening disparities require the adoption of sound policies to empower the poorest and promote the economic inclusion of all. The Research facility to better understand inequalities will contribute to this, by enhancing knowledge around the drivers of economic and social inequalities and identify the most effective policies to address and reduce them. Evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold, inequality harms growth and poverty reduction, erodes trust in public institutions and decreases an individual’s sense of fulfilment and self-worth. However, extreme and ever-rising inequalities are not inevitable, as several countries have managed to contain or reduce income inequality, while achieving strong growth.

Source: ec.europa.eu