The World’s top ten richest men doubled their fortune during the pandemic
A new report by Oxfam, states that the wealth of the world’s 10 richest men grew at a rate of $1.3 billion per day from $700bn to $1.5 trillion since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, approximately 21, 000 people die every day from the world’s poorest, with over 160 million forced into poverty from the onset of the pandemic, according to Oxfam.
“If these ten men were to lose 99.999 percent of their wealth tomorrow, they would still be richer than 99 percent of all the people on this planet,” said Oxfam International’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. “They now have six times more wealth than the poorest 3.1 billion people.”
The same report highlights the increased inequality gap, as 99% of the world’s populations are limited by lockdowns, trade barriers and decreased tourism resulting from the pandemic, while on the otherhand hand, the 1% have amassed millions in profits.
The Oxfam report which drew insights from the World Bank stated that the daily deaths in developing countries are mainly caused by lack of access to healthcare, hunger and domestic violence which are highly attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. In Africa for example, the cost of the vaccines has limited it’s production and faster distribution to the citizens, leading to a continued economic deceleration across the continent.
“The world economy is simultaneously facing COVID-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory. Rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
Oxfam released the report ahead of the world economic forum which attracts influential economic, business and political figures, with an aim to spur conversations on the obscene inequality. An increased taxation on the rich is one of the ways to curb the wealth and power extremes of the richest, claims the report.
“Something is deeply flawed with our economic system,” says Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB’s chief executive.
Critics however state that the results might be slightly skewed as Oxfam started their analytics from March 2020, a time when the pandemic had strongly hit the stock market which harbors most wealth of the richest. However, Max Lawson on of the report authors, states that even if the measurements were taken mid-February 2020, the estimated increase would be about 70% for the top ten richest men which would still present a big surge in the billionaires wealth.