What do developed countries owe to the global poor?
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Figures show that over a billion people have left a situation of extreme poverty in recent decades. Although this is unquestionably a positive and desirable development, the image that can arise from this does not tell the full story. In the same period, major inequalities in prosperity increased. If we take a closer look at the use of global resources, we see that only 1.3% of these resources are used by the poorest 20% and no less than 86% by the richest 20% of the world's population (Meade, 2013; World Bank, 2014). Furthermore, the poorest 40% of the world's population receives only 5% of the global income, while the richest 20% receives no less than 75% of the global income (United Nations Development Programme, 2007). Although the situation of millions of people seems to have improved, it is still a small group of people who receive the bulk of the global income and make use of the available resources.
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