Friday, October 12, 2018

Poor aid to the poor

Development aid is failing to improve the lives of the poorest 20 percent of the world's population, according to a report that predicted growing global inequality.

The overall drop in poverty rates has been accompanied by a widening income gap between the most impoverished and the rest of the population, according to a report by Britain-based Development Initiatives.

The average income of the poorest 20 percent of the global population was 94 cents a day in 1990. Adjusted for inflation, it stands at $1.73 today, while the widely-recognised benchmark for measuring extreme poverty is $1.90 a day. The average earnings of the rest of the population grew from $12.85 in 1990 to $18.63 today, according to the report. If nothing changes, the gap in earnings between the poorest people and the rest of the population will grow to close to $19 by 2030, which would be almost double what it was in 1990. 

The poorest 20 percent of the world's population are often minorities, those living in conflict or post-conflict countries, people in nations with fragile governments, and those most affected by climate change, according to the report. 

The future is especially bleak for people in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Mali and Benin, as well as Syria and Afghanistan, according to the report's projections. At the moment, the world's poorest countries receive 1.5 times less aid than other developing countries, according to the report.

  Amy Dodd, a development finance expert,  said that donor countries make decisions about directing aid based on factors including national security considerations, as well as historical links such as French and British aid to former colonies. International aid is also increasingly funnelled into the costs of hosting refugees in donor countries, rather than being directed to improving conditions overseas, she said.

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