Call for private sector initiatives that reduce inequality in Asia and Pacific countries

The ESCAP secretariat is calling for nominations of inequality-reducing initiatives from the private sector, as part of its “Reducing Inequality in FEALAC Member Countries” project.

Despite unprecedented global economic growth over the past decades, income gaps between the rich and the poor persist in Asia and the Pacific. Inequality is also manifested in many other dimensions, beyond income. Access to health, education, clean energy, and water and sanitation remain unequal, while the most vulnerable populations in the two regions – including women and girls, youths, older persons, informal workers, persons with disabilities and migrants – are particularly at risk of being left behind.

Tackling high levels of multidimensional inequality requires the commitment of both the public and private sector, with private businesses playing a key role in promoting equal opportunities for all.

In this context, the project is collecting information about private initiatives that businesses have established to reduce inequality in FEALAC member countries, through:

Initiatives implemented at the workplace, including, among others, scholarships for employees’ children, wage caps for CEOs or senior management, equitable benefit distribution (e.g. bonuses, health insurance or other) and childcare facilities.

Initiatives benefitting communities, including, among others, businesses that source materials from local producers, build infrastructure and run programmes to increase community access to education, health and other basic services.

All businesses with an inequality-reducing initiative in a FEALAC member country are invited to fill in a short online survey describing their initiative. Selected initiatives will be developed into case briefs to be published on the project’s online portal. Of these, two of the most impactful, sustainable and replicable initiatives from Asia and the Pacific will be selected for a closer study and will be highlighted in a United Nations publication.

The “Reducing Inequality in FEALAC Member Countries” project is supported by a multi-donor trust fund of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), an inter-regional multilateral forum of 36 member countries from East Asia and Latin America. The project is managed by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

For more information on the project, please contact Ermina Sokou ([email protected]) or Stephanie Choo ([email protected]).

Download: Overview of project including its public sector component

Download: Overview of private sector component of project