Over 16 crore more people forced into poverty in 2 years of pandemic: Oxfam
New Delhi/Davos, Jan 17: The first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic saw incomes of 99 per cent of humanity fall and over 16 crore people were forced into poverty even as the world’s ten richest men saw their fortune more than double to USD 1.5 trillion (over Rs 111 lakh crore) at a rate of USD 1.3 billion (Rs 9,000 crore) a day, a new study showed on Monday.
In its report titled ‘Inequality Kills’ released on the first day of the World Economic Forum’s online Davos Agenda summit, Oxfam International further said inequality is contributing to the death of at least 21,000 people each day, or one person every four seconds.
This is a conservative finding based on deaths globally from lack of access to healthcare, gender-based violence, hunger, and climate breakdown, it added.
The world’s ten richest men saw their fortunes grow at a rate of USD 15,000 per second during the first two years of the pandemic and if these ten men were to lose 99.999 percent of their wealth tomorrow, they would still be richer than 99 per cent of all the people on this planet.
“They now have six times more wealth than the poorest 3.1 billion people,” said Oxfam International’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher.
“It has never been so important to start righting the violent wrongs of this obscene inequality by clawing back elites’ power and extreme wealth including through taxation getting that money back into the real economy and to save lives,” she said.
According to Oxfam, billionaires’ wealth has risen more since COVID-19 began than it has in the last 14 years. At USD 5 trillion, this is the biggest surge in billionaire wealth since records began.