Poverty, Inequality and Safety Nets in the MENA Region

Poverty, Inequality and Safety Nets in the MENA Region

By international standards, extreme poverty or destitution is relatively low in the countries of North Africa. According to the World Bank, the number of those living below 2 USD a day was 13.9 percent in 2008, which would make the region of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the fourth poorest region in the world after sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and East Asia.

Combating inequality in Africa

Workers in Burkina Faso are angry. Four times in 2005 and then again this May, the country’s trade unions shut down economic activity through a series of national general strikes. Thousands marched in the streets of that West African nation to protest low salaries, high prices, lost jobs and inadequate social benefits.

Workers in Burkina Faso are angry. Four times in 2005 and then again this May, the country’s trade unions shut down economic activity through a series of national general strikes. Thousands marched in the streets of that West African nation to protest low salaries, high prices, lost jobs and inadequate social benefits.

Kenya: The Danger of Inequality

Kenya: The Danger of Inequality

That Kenya is an unequal society is not in question. The gap between the few very rich and the many very poor is wide. The 2010 Global Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme ranked Kenya 103 out of the total 169 countries surveyed – making it the 66th most unequal country in the world.

What is not clear is how fast the inequality gap is widening. A publication by the Society for International Development titled ‘Pulling Apart: Facts and Figures on Inequality in Kenya’ published back in 2004 painted a disturbing picture of growing inequality.

Sources of Wealth Inequality in MENA Region

Sources of Wealth Inequality in MENA Region

MENA’s relatively stable equality profile has long been maintained by low income disparities, but inequality as such remains an underlying social factor, which was well documented by the uprising against the autocratic ex-President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The current situation of economic inequality is likely to deteriorate in the wake of new and ongoing socio-political upheavals around the region.

Tackling inequality in Uganda

Tackling inequality in Uganda
Tackling inequality in Uganda entails a comprehensive development framework that puts people’s participation in the economic growth process at the centre. People must be viewed as agents of economic growth and transformation and not passive recipients of social services and/or handouts from either development partners or their own government

South Africa: How to Address Unemployment, Land and Wealth Inequality?

South Africa: How to Address Unemployment, Land and Wealth Inequality?

Structural poverty, exacerbated by falling employment, has dogged South Africa since 1994. Subsequently unemployment has officially increased from around one fifth of the active workforce, to a quarter today. The unofficial “expanded” and probably more realistic level of unemployment is closer to 40%. This issue, more than any other, threatens the fundamental stability of our nation.

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