The crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic caused unprecedented inequality, the head of the Global Practice and Partnership at Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group said Wednesday. Amer Bukvic spoke at the group’s annual meeting in Egypt and said the economic and social divide across societies, businesses and individuals has become more pronounced. The average income for those in the bottom 40pc of the global income distribution fell 6.7pc last year, he said, but the decline was just 2.8pc for the top 2pc. “The reason being that the poorest have yet to recover their income losses, while the affluent have recovered more than 45pc of the initial income,” he said. Bukvic highlighted that three or four years of progress in ending extreme poverty are estimated to have been lost during the pandemic. Empowering small- and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives and social enterprises could be one of the most important mechanisms for tackling challenges of rising poverty and widening inequality, he said.