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End inequality to fight radicalism

Jan 23,2018 - Last updated at Jan 23,2018

Oxfam International, the world renowned confederation of 20 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to end poverty, has recently found that 1 per cent of the wealthiest people in the world own or control 82 per cent of the world's wealth!

This is indeed shocking and may explain, in part at least, why radicalism and extremism are rampant in many parts of the world. Many UN studies have established a link between poverty and terrorism and called on countries to pay more attention to poverty and the conditions that lead to them. Oxfam is alarmed by this finding, especially because it was founded in the first place to combat global poverty by means that are generally available to most nations.

The history and record of Oxfam is impressive in the field of alleviating global poverty having been established in Oxford, England, back in 1942 during World War II. The international confederation is also credited with having succeeded in reducing widespread poverty, especially in the developing world, where unemployment and poverty are still rampant due to external and internal factors.

Oxfam has also found that poverty, unemployment and deprivation are not inevitable but rather conditions that can be reversed. The mere fact that 1 per cent of the richest people in the world own 82 per cent of global wealth is indeed worrying and may explain, in part at least, why many people in the developing nations continue to be denied a decent standard of living, including the rights to food, water, energy, housing, education  and health. If poverty and denial of adequate standard of living are not inevitable and can indeed be dealt with, all countries still reeling from poverty for whatever reason, can indeed address these woes and hardships in a fair and balanced manner with the cooperation of the developed nations, where most of the global wealth is concentrated.

 International norms stipulate that rich states are duty-bound to give official development assistance amounting to 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to poor countries. Of course, few developed countries get even close to that percentage of aid to poor nations with the Scandinavians leading the international community in this regard.

 

Until and unless the rich countries provide more support to poor states and developing countries set their priorities more rationally and equitably, developing countries would continue to labour under poor economic and financial conditions and provide a breeding ground for radicalism. 

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