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Closing the Divide in Malawi: How to Reduce Inequality and Increase Prosperity for All

April 20, 2018

Inequality between the richest and the rest in Malawi continues to rise, with poverty remaining extreme and endemic. Climate change is compounding the challenges, with recent droughts and floods likely to have worsened poverty, resulting in one in three Malawians relying on humanitarian assistance in 2016. Economic inequality threatens to undermine the hard-fought and important progress on some aspects of human development in Malawi.This report presents a vision, roadmap and policy recommendations for a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous Malawi. It shows that inequality is not inevitable but the result of policy choices made by those with power. Breaking out of slow and unequal growth requires government, development partners and institutions to work for all, especially for those living at the margins, rather than serving powerful vested interests.

The Right Choices: Achieving universal health coverage in Malawi

June 6, 2016

Malawi has a proud history of delivering free healthcare for its citizens, but this is now seriously under threat. Bypass fees for hospitals are already causing major hardship by excluding poor people from accessing the healthcare they need. The Government of Malawi must reject the fees system completely and instead use tax financing and development aid. Development partners must support the health sector with adequate financing to fulfil world leaders' commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind. Malawi cannot be the first country in a generation to introduce these dangerous fees while the world watches. 

Asia at a Crossroads: Why the Region Must Address Inequality Now

January 16, 2015

Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict.If Asia's policymakers hold tight to yesterday's truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone's welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia's people.Oxfam is calling on Asia's governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.

Investing for the Few: The IFC's Health in Africa initiative

September 3, 2014

The Health in Africa initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is at odds with the World Bank Group's welcome commitment to universal and equitable health coverage and to shared prosperity. This paper argues that the $1bn initiative, which promotes private sector healthcare delivery, is extremely unlikely to deliver better health outcomes for poor people. The IFC's failure to measure the extent to which Health in Africa impacts on people living in poverty is inexcusable.Instead of investing in risky private sector solutions, the World Bank Group should focus on supporting African governments to expand publicly provided healthcare - a proven way to save millions of lives worldwide and to drive down inequality, abolish user fees and help governments to strengthen their capacities to regulate the private sector.