Credit Suisse has revealed 1% of the population owns half of the world's wealth as the gap between rich and poor keeps growing. The research said middle-class wealth had grown at a slower pace compared to that of rich people and wealth inequality had continued to increase since 2008, with the world's richest now owning "50.4% of all household wealth".
IBTimes UK met Max Lawson, head of global policy and campaigns at Oxfam, to discuss measures that can effectively tackle extreme inequality, which the NGO said is out of control. The Credit Suisse report came as the World Food Programme warned one in nine people around the world do not have enough food to lead an active, healthy life.
According to the Global Hunger Index 2015, hunger remains an "alarming" issue in eight countries with Central African Republic being the nation with more people (2.1 million) affected by food insecurity and malnutrition than anywhere else.
Extreme inequality and extreme poverty
Extreme inequality is the gap between rich and poor in wealth and income. According to Oxfam, economic inequality - intended as financial resources and wealth in the hands of the few - has reached extreme levels in recent years.
Extreme poverty takes place when people live with $1.90 (£1.23) or less per day. It is defined by the UN as "severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services". The World Bank said by the end of 2015, 702 million people - 9.6% of the world's population - will be living in extreme poverty, down from 902 million people - 12.8% - in 2012.
In 2014, Oxfam launched its Even It Up campaign, aimed at tackling extreme inequality and reducing the widening gap between rich and poor. According to the charity, tackling tax havens and promoting higher wages will help reduce poverty and boost economies in several countries affected by extreme poverty and inequality.
In 1990, the UN issued eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aimed to eradicate poverty and hunger worldwide and make primary education accessible for everybody by 2015. However, in 2015, few countries have successfully managed to lift millions of people out of extreme poverty, while other nations still struggle with issues such as hunger, child mortality and social justice.
Many of these countries, such as Syria, South Sudan and Nigeria, have been ravaged by wars and violent insurgencies that caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people. In September, the UN issued 17 new goals to be achieved by 2030. They will replace the MDGs at the end of 2015.