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Wealth of world’s richest men doubled during COVID-19 but humanity’s income dropped – Oxfam

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Oxfam, an international charitable NGO reported that the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic helped in doubling the fortunes of the world’s ten richest people.

The NGO gave the statistics ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos, which was from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21.

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It says richest men are now six times wealthier than the poorest 3.1 billion people.

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The Oxfam statement said “the world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day.

“The first two years of the pandemic has seen the incomes of 99 per cent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty.’’

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Oxfam observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated such an unprecedented rise of billionaires’ wealth, which has grown more than in the last 14 years, making them six times wealthier than the poorest 3.1 billion people around the world.

Oxfam International’s Executive Director, Gabriela Bucher, said “central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom.

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“Vaccines were meant to end this pandemic, yet rich governments allowed pharma billionaires and monopolies to cut off the supply to billions of people.’’

Meanwhile, Oxfam claims that growing inequality contributes to the daily deaths of at least 21,000 people who suffer from limited access to health care, gender-based violence, malnutrition and climate disruption.

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A one-time 99 per cent tax on the pandemic revenues of the ten richest people could cover the production of enough vaccines for the entire population across the world.

It said it can also provide for universal healthcare, social protection, fund climate adaptation and combat gender-based violence in more than 80 countries.

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Bucher stressed that “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’’.

According to Oxfam, there is no shortage of money in the global economy today, given that governments have committed $16 trillion to counter the pandemic.

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The actual problem was the governments’ sluggishness in preventing extreme enrichment of the elite that perpetuates inequality and unleashes economic violence against the majority of the world’s population.

Sputnik/NAN

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