Irish Aid sees social protection as an important policy instrument to reduce extreme poverty in partner countries, in humanitarian responses, and across our programmes.
Across the world the gap between the rich and the poor is rapidly increasing. Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale. Findings also suggest that chronic inequality stunts long-term economic growth, and makes it more difficult to reduce poverty.
The experience of middle-income countries such as South Africa, Brazil, India and China have shown that even with impressive growth, pockets of extreme deprivation often remain. Rapid growth across Least Developed Countries since the 2000s – including in Irish Aid’s partner countries in Africa – has also been marked by rising inequality and persistently high poverty levels. Not tackling such deprivation and the inequality it brings is dangerous: it can lead to social tension, violence and sometimes even flare up to full-blown conflict.
Download PDF of Irish Aid Social Protection Strategy 2017Download PDF (2,410KB)