Lifestyle & Belief

Gap between rich and poor growing


Occupy Wall Street participants march down Fifth Avenue as part of May Day events in New York City on May 1, 2012. The Occupy movement shook the United States last year, spawning similar demonstrations and strikes worldwide against social inequality.


Emmanuel Dunand

In the past 2 decades, the world made exceptional progress in reducing global poverty, but according to a new report published Thursday by the international NGO, Save the Children, global inequality is at its highest in 20 years. And it's growing.

The report found in many of the 32 developing countries researched, "the available income for children in the poorest decile [income-level group] has actually decreased, as a share of GDP, since the 1990s." Share of GDP for children in the richest decile increased.

Save the Children's chief executive Justin Forsyth told the BBC, "In recent decades the world has made dramatic progress in cutting child deaths and improving opportunities for children; we are now reaching a tipping point where preventable child deaths could be eradicated in our lifetime. But this will only happen if we redouble our efforts and tackle inequality."

He added, "Unless inequality is addressed... any future development framework will simply not succeed in maintaining or accelerating progress. What's more, it will hold individual countries - and the world - back from experiencing real growth and prosperity."

The report also found, "more than 70% of the world’s poorest people – up to a billion – live in middle-income countries" 

The report comes as Britain Prime Minister David Cameron, co-chair of the UN panel on global poverty and development with Indonesia and Liberia, met with world leaders to address global poverty, and what step need to be taken after 2015.