10 REDUCED INEQUALITIES
Progress in reducing inequality within and among countries has been mixed.
- The voices of developing countries still need to be strengthened in decisio n-making forums of international economic and financial institutions. Moreover, while remittances can be a lifeline for families and communities of international migrant workers in their countries of origin, the high cost of transferring money continues to reduce such benefits.
- From 2008 to 2013, the per capita income or consumption of the poorest 40 per cent of the population improved more rapidly than the national average in 49 of 83 countries (accounting for three quarters of the world’s population) with data.
- The International Monetary Fund, through its recent quota reform, has increased the share of developing countries’ vote (defined as countries in developing regions, according to the M49 classification) to 37 per cent in 2016, up from 33 per cent in 2010. That increase is still short of the 74 per cent they represent in the membership. While the World Bank reforms of 2010 are still being implemented, that effort has not changed the 38 per cent share of voting rights at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development that developing countries have held since 2000.
- Duty-free treatment and favourable access conditions for exports from least developed and developing countries have expanded. From 2005 to 2015, the proportion of tariff lines globally with duty-free treatment for products that originate in developing countries increased from 41 per cent to 50 per cent; for products that originate in the least developed countries, the proportion rose from 49 per cent to 65 per cent.
- The least developed countries and small island developing States continue to require additional assistance to ensure that they share in the benefits of sustainable development. In 2015, total resource flows to the least developed countries and small island developing States amounted to $48 billion and $6 billion, respectively. Eight donor countries met the target of 0.15 per cent of gross national income (GNI) for ODA to the least developed countries.
- The benefits of remittance from international migrant workers are reduced somewhat by the generally high cost of transfer. On average, post offices and money transfer operators charge over 6 per cent of the amount remitted; commercial banks charge 11 per cent. Both are significantly above the 3 per cent target. New and improved technologies, such as prepaid cards and mobile operators, result in lower fees for sending money home (between 2 per cent and 4 per cent), but are not yet widely available or used for many remittance corridors.