The UN asked this Wednesday member countries and the private sector to allocate 100 billion dollars between now and 2026 to reduce the digital divide worldwide, an amount three times higher than initially planned.
Some 2.7 billion people in the world did not have access to the internet in 2022, out of a world population of 8 billion, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency.
“The digital divide that separates the least advanced countries in the world is increasing”warned the ITU, which called for more resources to be allocated to connectivity and digitization in less advanced countries.
“Technology is among the world’s priorities, but the benefits of digital technology remain out of reach for many people,” ITU chief Doreen Bogdan-Martin said in a statement.
“If we really want to digitize the world in a meaningful and lasting way, we must take action to accelerate digital transformation for all,” added.
The 46 least developed countries are home to almost a third of the world’s population without connection, the ITU said.
Internet access is considered too expensive in all but two of these countries, lamented this agency.
To remedy the situation, ITU launched a digital coalition called Partner2Connect in September 2021.
Its goal is to use public-private partnerships to help drive digitization in the hardest-to-connect communities, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries or small island states.
This coalition began mobilizing direct funds in February of last year and has so far raised $30 billion in pledges.
Twelve billion will be destined to help the poorest countries to connect more quickly.
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