World-wide development organisation Oxfam Tuesday called on the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS – to put the reduction of inequality at the heart of a sustainable development agenda.
“Oxfam considers that BRICS have a special responsibility in helping the world reach its goal of ending extreme poverty, reducing inequality and accomplishing equitable and sustainable development for all,” the organisation said in a report made available to PANA here.
Oxfam was reacting to the creation of a new development bank by the BRICS countries to provide fresh sources of financing for emerging economies.
Leaders from the BRICS Tuesday finalised their sixth summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, consolidating the creation of the bank which, Oxfam said, “must support the reduction of inequality and foster sustainable development, instead of repeating traditional development financing which has reinforced export-oriented growth and mega infrastructure.”
In its report, ‘The BRICS Development Bank: Why the world’s new global bank must adopt a pro-poor agenda’, Oxfam said the creation of the new bank, and with it the promise of reforming global multilateral finance, offers a real and concrete opportunity for governments of these countries to ensure development is sensitive to the needs of the poorest and most marginalised people.
“BRICS Bank investments in infrastructure and services have to meet, first and foremost, the interests of poor and disadvantaged communities through the development of rural infrastructure, the creation of sustainable jobs, promotion of women’s rights, and renewable energy. Too often we have seen that mega infrastructure projects have negative consequences for poor people. We don’t want more of the same,” said Simon Ticehurst, Director of Oxfam in Brazil.
Despite progress in poverty reduction, BRICS countries are still home to nearly half of the world’s poor (1.7 billion people) and, with the exception of Brazil, all face rising levels of inequality, which hinders economic growth, makes economies more volatile, fuels social unrest and conflict, and limits the ability to reduce poverty.
In the same report, Oxfam has recommended that civil society experiences and contributions shape the design and implementation of the new Bank´s strategies, particularly from the perspective of women´s rights and those of local communities