B-MINCOME, defined by the WHO as a leading programme to reduce inequalities and improve health

B-MINCOME, defined by the WHO as a leading programme to reduce inequalities and improve health

12/06/2019 - 12:06

As part of its High-level Conference on Health Equity, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has selected Barcelona’s B-MINCOME programme as a leading example in the reduction of inequalities and the improvement of health.

The WHO chose the B-MINCOME programme which is being rolled out in Barcelona as one of Europe’s most outstanding initiatives to reduce inequalities and improve health and social welfare. The recognition came at this weekend’s High-level Conference on Health Equity in Llubljana (Slovenia), a summit exploring various formulas being employed to reduce health inequalities and strengthen welfare among the population.

During the conference, the WHO Regional Office for Europe outlined how countries need to make firm steps forward in the short term to reduce social differences, regardless of electoral cycles. Despite the progress in recent years in cutting child mortality rates and increasing life expectancy, according to the WHO the labour and social protection policies applied during the global economic crisis have left people at risk of social exclusion, and that has had a negative impact on people’s health.

In addition to B-INCOME, five other projects were recognised for tackling this reality:

  • an initiative in the Republic of Moldova to bring healthcare centres closer to young people;
  • a project in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy) to detect the fragility of elderly people earlier;
  • a programme in Wales to help eradicate energy poverty and at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emissions;
  • a proposal to help with schooling for Roma children in six countries in northern and central Europe,
  • and a partnership to promote decent employment conditions among young people in eastern Europe and Asia.

In the case of the B-MINCOME, which combines a municipal inclusion benefit payment with participation in various types of active policies, the WHO stresses how the programme looks to go beyond monetary transfers and include support to offer more job opportunities, renovate homes, promote social and community activities and even introduce a local currency to strengthen the economy in the area.