The world’s 10 richest men doubled their fortunes during the pandemic, Oxfam reports

The world’s 10 richest men doubled their fortunes during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic when poverty and inequality skyrocketed, a report said on Monday.

Oxfam said the men’s fortune jumped from $ 700 billion to $ 1.5 trillion, at an average rate of $ 1.3 billion a day, in a briefing released ahead of a virtual mini-summit with world leaders held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.

Oxfam, an association of charities focused on alleviating global poverty, said billionaires’ wealth increased more during the pandemic than in the previous 14 years, when the world economy suffered the worst recession since the 1929 Wall Street crash.

It called this inequality “economic violence” and said that inequality contributes to 21,000 people dying every day due to lack of access to health care, gender-based violence, hunger and climate change.

Inequality contributes to one death every 4 seconds. It is not by chance but by choice: our economies are the violent consequence of choices made for and by the richest. #InequalityKills We can change this. Demand a more equal future for all https://t.co/6aRiAEvXsI #FightInequality pic.twitter.com/XBdpxt9BvI

– Oxfam International (@Oxfam) January 17, 2022

The pandemic has plunged 160 million people into poverty, the charity added, with non-white ethnic minorities and women bearing the brunt of the effects of inequality.

The report follows a study from December 2021 by the group that found that the share of global wealth for the world’s richest people rose at record speeds during the pandemic.

Oxfam called for tax reforms to fund worldwide vaccine production as well as healthcare, climate adaptation and the reduction of gender-based violence to help save lives.

The group said it based its wealth estimates on the most up-to-date and comprehensive data sources available and used the 2021 billionaire list compiled by the American business magazine Forbes.

Forbes listed the world’s 10 richest men as: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, former Microsoft CEOs Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, former Oracle CEOs Larry Ellison, the American investor Warren Buffet and the head of the French luxury group LVMH, Bernard Arnault.

(AFP)

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