The world’s top 1,000 billionaires recovered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but it will take at least a decade for the poorest to recoup, Oxfam International says in a study it conducted recently.
The immediate effect of the pandemic could be that it will increase economic inequality in almost every country, the U.K.-based major nonprofit group said in its annual inequality report.
“The virus has exposed, fed off and increased existing inequalities of wealth, gender and race. Over two million people have died, and hundreds of millions of people are being forced into poverty while many of the richest – individuals and corporations – are thriving. Billionaire fortunes returned to their pre-pandemic highs in just nine months, while recovery for the world’s poorest people could take over a decade”.
“Rigged economies are funneling wealth to a rich elite who are riding out the pandemic in luxury, while those on the front line of the pandemic — shop assistants, health care workers, and market vendors — are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table,” said Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam’s executive director.
In the nine-month period between mid-March and the end of December, the wealth of billionaires has grown by $3.9 trillion, the study says.
But the number of people living in poverty globally could have increased by up to 500 million last year, Oxfam says, citing a UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research paper.
This paper was written by Esmé Berkhout, Nick Galasso, Max Lawson, Pablo Andrés Rivero Morales, Anjela Taneja, and Diego Alejo Vázquez Pimente.
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