Already facing huge development needs, the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the challenges facing fragile and conflict states—a group of currently about 40 countries trapped in cycles of low administrative capacity, political instability, conflict, and weak economic performance. […]
Over the past decade, inequality has become one of the most complex and vexing challenges in the global economy.
Inequality of opportunity. Inequality across generations. Inequality between women and men. And, of course, inequality of income and wealth . They are all present in our societies and—unfortunately— in many countries they are […]
September 18, 2018
A customer pays at a supermarket using her smartphone in Bangkok, Thailand: urban and rural areas in the region widely use mobile payment platforms to access financial services (photo: Li Mangmang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom)
In Asia, the world’s fastest-growing region, expanding access to financial services for more people will mean higher growth, as well as lower poverty and inequality. […]
July 26, 2018
Although we live in an age of unparalleled wealth and technological achievement, billions of people are still suffering from poverty, hunger, exclusion, and conflict. […]
June 21, 2018
Latin America may be the most unequal region in the world, but it is the only region to significantly lower inequality over the past two decades, and the boom in commodity prices helped make it happen. […]
January 24, 2018
The poet Langston Hughes once asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?” It is a relevant question to millions around the world today, especially young people, because of inequality and poverty.
This week IMF staff are launching new, European Union-focused research highlighting the impact of unemployment and the long-term consequences of inadequate social protection on the young. The study also explores ideas that can help fix the problem and reduce inequality and poverty for the next generation. […]
January 23, 2018
Tackling inequality is not only a moral imperative. It is critical for sustaining growth.
Global income inequality has declined in recent years, with the Gini index—a statistical measure of income distribution with a value of zero indicating perfect equality—dropping from 68 in 1988 to 62 in 2013, reflecting relatively strong growth in many emerging and developing economies, particularly in China and India. However, inequality has increased within many countries, including in many advanced economies. […]
November 27, 2017
Reforms in some mostly oil-exporting countries, along with lower international fuel prices since 2014, have reduced the size of fuel subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa, and they need to do more given the recent rise in international fuel prices.
Universal fuel and energy subsidies have been prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, but they have substantial drawbacks. They tend to benefit the rich rather than the poor, foster fuel overconsumption, and crowd out more productive government spending. […]
Versions in Français (French)
Government policies matter when it comes to public health. And when a country’s economy is suffering a severe economic crisis, the decisions become even more critical. Over the past few decades, protecting social programs and spending on health has been a cornerstone of the IMF’s support for countries.