A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
World Economic Forum inequality warning a wake-up call for leaders
Responding to the World Economic Forum's Outlook on the Global Agenda, which places "Deepening Income Inequality" at the top of its list of concerns for world leaders in 2015, Kevin Roussel, Head of Oxfam International's Inequality Campaign said:
"These findings are the latest wake-up call for world leaders to get to grips with the explosion in extreme inequality, which has resulted in 85 people owning as much as the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet.
"The growing body of evidence that inequality is a threat both to prosperity and the fight against poverty demands that governments do more than merely wring their hands - they need to face down vested interests and take concrete steps to close the widening gap between rich and poor.
"Extreme inequality is not inevitable, there are a range of policy choices available, including ensuring companies and rich individuals pay their fair share in tax and investing the proceeds in health and education for the poorest."
The WEF's findings will add to growing global pressure for action to tackle extreme inequality and follows an Oxfam report published last week, which showed the number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis. Oxfam made waves at this year’s WEF gathering in Davos when it revealed that the richest 85 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population.