The wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has doubled during the pandemic: Oxfam


Reuters

January 17, 2022, 08:35

Last modification: January 17, 2022, 08:42

Representative image. Photo: Pixabay

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Representative image. Photo: Pixabay

The world’s 10 richest people have more than doubled their fortunes to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic as poverty rates soared, according to a study released Monday by the charity Oxfam, ahead of an event highly publicized World Economic Forum (WEF).

Oxfam usually publishes a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting. in Davos.

This event typically sees thousands of business and political leaders, celebrities, activists, economists and journalists gather at the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, aperitifs and chit-chat.

However, for the second year in a row, the reunion (scheduled for this week) will be held online only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event.

Heads of state will join CEOs and other luminaries this week to discuss the planet’s most pressing issues – from climate change to the inequality of Covid-19 vaccines – at the Agenda 2022 conference. of Davos from the WEF.

The online meeting will be a springboard for the annual WEF summit, which normally sees the world’s rich and powerful converge on the Swiss mountain resort of Davos each winter, but has been moved to summer due to the pandemic .

Here are some figures on global inequality:

  • Billionaires have seen a record increase in their wealth during the pandemic, according to aid agency Oxfam.
  • The 10 richest people have increased their fortunes by $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion per day during the pandemic.
  • They own more than the 3.1 billion poorest people in the world combined.
  • A new billionaire has been created every 26 hours since the start of the pandemic.
  • It is estimated that more than 160 million people have been pushed into poverty during the health crisis.
  • Inequalities between nations are set to increase for the first time in a generation and they are also increasing within countries.
  • Rich nations rebound faster. Production in wealthy countries will likely return to pre-pandemic trends by 2023, but will fall by 4% on average in developing countries, according to the World Bank.
  • In 2023, per capita incomes are expected to remain below 2019 levels in 40 developing countries, according to the bank.
  • Inequality contributes to the death of at least 21,300 people every day – one person every four seconds, according to Oxfam’s report.
  • An estimated 5.6 million people in poor countries die every year due to lack of access to health care, while hunger kills more than 2.1 million people every year, according to the report.
  • The proportion of people with Covid-19 who die from the disease in developing countries has been estimated to be around double that of rich countries.
  • Just over 7% of people in low-income countries have received a dose of vaccine compared to over 75% in high-income countries.
  • The world’s richest 1% emit more than twice as much carbon dioxide, which warms the planet, as the poorest 50%.
  • If left unchecked, climate change could push up to 132 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, according to World Bank estimates.
  • The pandemic has also set back global progress towards gender equality. It will take almost 136 years for women to be on an equal footing with men, compared to 99 years before the pandemic.
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