Oxfam on Monday published a book warning that the food and fuel price
hikes have signaled the start of a new age of scarcity which could drag
millions of people further into poverty. It urges immediate action to
tackle the huge inequalities that prevent poor people from having
access to resources such as food fuel and water. For VOA, Tendai
Maphosa has more from London.
From Power to Poverty calls for
urgent action to address the gap between the world's rich and poor.
Duncan Green, the book's author, spoke to VOA.
would be with the U.S. in the Depression or with Europe after the
Second World War where you had the New Deal, you had the creation of
welfare states," he explained. "We need some level of political inspiration
like that on a global scale if we are actually going to get through
this century without catastrophic damage to the climate, and without
continued and deepening instability and violence."
the gap between the wealthy and poor has been growing at a fast pace
recently. He said the income of the world's 500 richest billionaires
exceeding that of the world's 416 million poverty stricken is a sign
that there is a need to redistribute the world's resources.
Green says the countries that have been successful in narrowing the gap have had two things in common.
have had effective states which have actually managed the economy,
managed security, delivered for the national developments and they have
also had active citizens," he said. "So, the book argues for this
combination of active citizens and effective states as the key place
where development happens."
Green also called for an overhaul of international institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank.
Green said, is also crucial to closing the gap between the haves and
have nots. The state, he said, should act as an agent of change through
tax and land reforms that give the poor an edge within countries.