Overcoming Extreme Poverty by Addressing Income Inequality

While world leaders have agreed to end global poverty by 2030, more than 200 million people worldwide will be trapped unnecessarily by income inequality unless governments find solutions.

Oxfam, an international organization that works to find solutions for poverty have reported that income inequality will continue to increase with the addition of the newly approved Sustainable Development Goals.

Research conducted by the Overseas Development Institute found that 79 percent of people in developing countries live in a nation where the incomes of the bottom 40 percent grew slower than the average during the period of the Millennial Development Goals.

The slow growth of income is due to the richest one percent’s fast earning potential. If trends continue, the richest one percent will own more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined.

“Wealth does not automatically trickle down to those who need it most. It’s up to politicians to ensure everyone gets a fair share of the benefits of growth,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

While the past 15 years have seen the fastest reduction of poverty in human history, world leaders must act.

Some solutions to income inequality include:

  • Fair Taxes: Rules must be enacted to ensure everyone, including rich and multi-billion dollar corporations, pay their fair share.
  • Invest: Money used in unfair and broken tax systems should be invested toward health care, schools and public transportation to significantly change the lives of the world’s poor.
  • Fair Pay: People who work hard should have fair pay no matter what gender. This could give people a chance for the world’s poor to escape poverty when on the same playing field.
  • Financial Resources: People have the right to understand how to save and invest money wisely. Through financial mentors, the world’s poor can learn how to eventually become part of the world’s middle class.

Through government actions and the eradication of income inequality, the Sustainable Development Goals have a better shot of completion by 2030.

Alexandra Korman

Sources: InfoZine, OxFam, Voice of America
Photo: Wikemedia