#LeaveNoOneBehind is an important ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is the theme for our campaign that focuses this month on income inequality and the impact it has on the communities impacted most by COVID-19. In the fight against this pandemic, we need Canada to support a global and equitable response by investing in the strengthening of vulnerable communities.
Income inequality is an extreme disparity of money and wealth, where a high concentration of income usually ends up in the hands of a small percentage of the people. When income inequality occurs there is a large gap between the wealth of one part of the population compared to another.
Income inequality has long been known as one of the main drivers of poverty. It leads to unequal access to basic needs like healthcare, education and food that creates a poverty trap that is often impossible for people to escape from. COVID-19 now exacerbates these difficulties because as people’s health is threatened, so is their ability to generate income.
COVID-19 is threatening to make both income inequality and poverty worse for millions of people around the world. On June 8, the World Bank estimated that COVID-19 would push an additional 71 million people into poverty. School closures have impacted around 90% of students worldwide (1.57 billion) including school feeding programs where an estimated 370 million children are not getting the school meals they depend on. No education or access to healthy, nutritious foods means the incomes of these future earners will be severely impacted.
We need Canada to invest at least 1% of their COVID-19 response in new and additional aid towards an emergency, global response. This investment along with a permanent increase to the Canadian aid budget will help countries finance diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to fight COVID-19 directly, while also protecting the most vulnerable from indirect impacts like worsening food security, collapsing local economies and school shutdowns.
Ask #1: Canada to invest at least 1% of its COVID-19 response in new and additional aid towards a global response.
Ask #2: Canada must commit to a permanent increase in Canadian aid (ODA - Official Development Assistance) to ensure progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ending extreme poverty.
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