Oxfam launches global campaign against inequality

By staff writers
October 31, 2014

Oxfam has announced the launch of 'Even It Up', a major new worldwide campaign against global inequality and its causes.

The initiative has been kick-started by a new report from the internationally recognised NGO, entitled 'Time to end extreme inequality'.

From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people.

In Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

If India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019.

This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.

Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust, comments: "This report from Oxfam is a stark and timely portrait of the growing inequality which characterises much of Africa and the world today... It contains many examples of success to give us inspiration.

"I hope that many people from government officials, business and civil society leaders, and bilateral and multilateral institutions will examine this report, reflect on its recommendations and take sustained actions which will tackle the inequality explosion."

Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB and author of From Poverty to Power adds: "For me, the most striking killer fact from the launch report is: ‘The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis, as inequality spirals out of control. In the same period, at least a million mothers have died in childbirth due to a lack of basic health services.’

"Although ‘In South Africa, the two richest people have the same wealth as the bottom half of the population’ runs it pretty close."

* Read the report 'Time to end extreme inequality': http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/time-end-extreme-inequality

* Sign up for the the campaign: https://act.oxfam.org/great-britain

* Duncan Green's From Poverty to Power: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/from-poverty-to-power-2...

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