Lilongwe: Oxfam has challenged various stakeholders in the country to join hands to addressing issues of inequalities among communities.
Oxfam Governance Programme Manager, Lusungu Dzinkambani said this Wednesday when she opened a consultative meeting on building an alliance against Inequality at Sunbird Lilongwe hotel.
She observed that issues of inequality among communities need to be looked at collectively if the issue is to be addressed.
Dzinkambani pointed out that accesses to basic amenities have been a challenged to most communities in the country and there is need to find better solutions to counter such situation.
Communities need to have equal access to education, health, worth, employment as a means of developing the country further. We need to come up with ways and means on how best such inequalities can be reduced for the betterment of the nation, the Programme Manager said.
Dzinkambani noted that most efforts that have been there have been disjointed and it is having slow impact to address the issue.
We need to build a general consensus among all stakeholders so that we should be able to join the global movement in fighting inequalities among communities, she stated.
Dzinkambani urged the government to level the playing field to ensure implementation of its development programmes takes into consideration issues of equal opportunity should be a key drive in its agenda.
She said providing on basic services need to be spread across the country and communities need to benefit equally without looking at undermining factors.
Oxfam Programme Coordinator, Mathias Kafunda said inequality could be spread in to six areas such income, gender, opportunities, wealth, assets and physical environment.
He said the country need to join the global community in advancing issues of inequality in order to achieve tangible development.
We need to come up with issues which are clear to follow and monitor in order to address the issue of inequality among communities in the country, Kafunda explained.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with 70 per cent of the population living on less than US$ 1.90.
Economic inequality is growing significantly in just seven years between 2004 and 2011, the gap between the richest 10 per cent of Malawians and the poorest 40 per cent increased by almost third.
If inequality continues to rise as it has been in recent years, by 2020 1.5 million more Malawians will be poor.
Even rapid economic growth will fail to tackle poverty in the country.
A 2015 Oxfam report titled A Dangerous Divide- the State of Inequality in Malawi spotlighted on the growing problem of inequality.
The results of the report indicated that inequalities in the country were being exacerbated by poor governance, capture, regressive taxes, unresponsive wage structures, inadequate investments and social protection for vulnerable and marginalized groups, huge disparities and system dysfunctionalities and inefficiencies in education subsectors and huge gender gaps.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA