Inequalities have risen to an extremely high level globally and are still rising. Though millions of people have escaped poverty in recent decades, one in nine still go to bed hungry.
- The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.
- The world’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
- There are 2,153 billionaires in the world, with more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined.
Inequality has a multitude of negative consequences, including the exclusion of large populations from common goods and services that could secure their fundamental rights, development and welfare. According to the World Economic Forum, rising income and wealth disparity is one of the most important trends that determine global development. Without reducing inequality, meeting SDG 1 to eliminate poverty will be impossible.
There is a lack of equitable distribution of resources both globally and in the countries where NCA works. In a global perspective, the net flow of resources goes from poor to rich countries, with much of this attributable to illicit capital flight and inadequate taxation of foreign companies due to outdated international taxation systems. High levels of corruption coupled with a lack of participatory and accountable governance also hinders equitable distribution of resources. At a global level, the lack of adequate financing of the SDGs and global measures to combat illicit financial flows undermine the world’s efforts to leave no one behind.
Extractive industries are key contributors to domestic resource mobilisation, but the communities living in mining areas experience little but the harsh consequences of the mining operations, such as forced relocation, loss of livelihoods and lack of compensation. Rights-holders do not have the information, voice and practical engagement strategies they need to influence the governance of public resources. This absence of consultation with affected populations inhibits the realisation of community rights. Inadequate policies and poor implementation and control of existing legal frameworks are obstacles to effective and just governance over extractive industries.