Covid-19 Impact: 1 New Billionaire Created Every 30 Hours; 10 Lakh Pushed Into Poverty Every 33 Hours
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen one new billionaire emerging every 30 hours, while nearly one million people could be pushed into extreme poverty every 33 hours this year according to the Oxfam International on Monday.
Oxfam said this when the rich and powerful from across the globe gather for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022.
Here WEF is an international organization for public-private partnership, is hosting its annual meeting in Davos after a gap of more than two years.
Executive Director of Oxfam International, Gabriela Bucher said,”Billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes. The pandemic and now the steep increases in food and energy prices have simply put, been a bonanza for them. Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now in reverse and millions of people are facing impossible rises in the cost of simply staying alive,”.
More People Crashing Into Extreme Poverty
As per the report, 573 people became new billionaires during the pandemic, at the rate of one every 30 hours.
Further adding, Oxfam International said, “We expect this year that 263 million more people will crash into extreme poverty, at a rate of a million people every 33 hours,”.
Interestingly, the billionaires’ wealth has risen more in the first 24 months of COVID-19 compared to the 23 years combined.
So far, the total wealth of the world’s billionaires is equivalent to 13.9% of global GDP which is a three-fold increase from 4.4% in 2000, the report said.
Rich Have Rigged The System
It is noteworthy here that the billionaires’ fortunes have not increased because they are now smarter or working harder, said Ms. Bucher.
On the contrary, “Workers are working harder, for less pay and in worse conditions. The super-rich have rigged the system with impunity for decades and they are now reaping the benefits. They have seized a shocking amount of the world’s wealth as a result of privatization and monopolies, gutting regulation and workers’ rights while stashing their cash in tax havens — all with the complicity of governments,” she added.
Further adding, “Meanwhile, millions of others are skipping meals, turning off the heating, falling behind on bills and wondering what they can possibly do next to survive. Across East Africa, one person is likely dying every minute from hunger. This grotesque inequality is breaking the bonds that hold us together as humanity. It is divisive, corrosive and dangerous. This is inequality that literally kills.”
This research also showed that corporations in the energy, food and pharmaceutical sectors — where monopolies are especially common.
Hence, they are posting record-high profits, even as wages have barely budged, and workers struggle with decades-high prices amid COVID-19.