10% of the population currently concentrates 52% of global wealth

10% of the population currently concentrates 52% of global wealth

The richest 10% of the world population currently takes 52% of the world income, while the poorest half obtains 6.5% of it, the deputy general director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) at the United Nations Commission for Social Development.

Manuela Tomei explained that eight years after its adoption, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the war in Ukraine, and the demographic and digital transitions.

“The pandemic killed more than 6.8 million people, plunged millions into extreme poverty and hunger, and destroyed businesses and jobs. Many countries are still recovering from it, while the world is facing other crises,” she stated.

For this reason, he pointed out that inequalities in terms of income, employment and rights grew and that discrimination and hostility towards women, migrants and refugees also intensified.

“The participation of women in the total income from work is less than 35%, which means only an increase of 5% compared to 1990”, he highlighted. At the same time she pointed out that “214 million workers live in extreme poverty – on less than $1.90 a day– and that the number of working poor is increasing in developing countries”.

Wide disparity in the labor market

Next, Tomei highlighted the inequality between global labor markets, both in opportunities and results, and said that large gender gaps persist in employment, unemployment, remuneration and pensions.

“Some 290 million young people around the world do not receive education, employment or training, while 2 billion people work in the informal economy,” he warned.

Similarly, I note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, job and income instability, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, and a lack of social protection had a disproportionate impact on these workers, who saw their income drop by 60% in 2020.

Inflation exacerbated food insecurity

He then stressed that the rise in wheat and oil prices in the fall of 2021, accentuated by the war in Ukraine, served to aggravate food insecurity and continues to erode the purchasing power of workers, especially those who are at the bottom of the income distribution, fueling social unrest and strikes.

“The pandemic confirmed that high levels of inequality weaken the resilience of individuals and companies in the face of crises,” he said.

Finally, he described inequality “as a multidimensional phenomenon, specific to each country and each era” and added that “no single political action or any isolated actor will be able to solve the problem, but a combination of all of them will be necessary.”

The 61st session of the Commission for Social Development, one of the eight operational commissions created by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), began this Monday and will end on February 15.

Topics under discussion this year include: poverty, aging population, disability rights, employment issues, and family and youth issues.

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Written by Editor TLN

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