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Wealth rise of richest in pandemic could protect all: Report

Rise in wealth of 10 richest people during pandemic could pay for global protection, Oxfam says

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 25.01.2021
Wealth rise of richest in pandemic could protect all: Report File Photo

LONDON

The expansion of wealth during the pandemic of the 10 richest people of the world would be enough to cover the cost of vaccination for every single person on the planet, according to a new report.

The global charity organization Oxfam said in its report that the combined wealth of the 10 richest men rose by $540 billion from mid-March to the end of last year.

Oxfam’s report underlined that reduced global aid programs paved the way for a “lost decade in the fight against poverty.”

The charity organization said the total wealth of billionaires hit $12 trillion in December, which is equivalent to total pandemic spending of the G20 countries.

It said: “A temporary tax on excess profits made by the 32 global corporations that have gained the most could have raised £76 billion [$104 billion] in 2020.

“This would be enough to provide unemployment benefits for all workers and financial support for all children and elderly people in low- and middle-income countries.”

“Billions of people were living on the edge when the pandemic began and had no resources or support to weather this fierce storm,” said Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB chief executive.

He said: “At the same time, a tiny number of individuals have pocketed more money in nine months than they could spend in a lifetime.

“These facts are shameful. Governments must act. Fair taxation on the very richest could help with the global recovery, raise more money to fight poverty and help shape more equal societies.”

The World Bank has calculated that if countries act now to reduce inequality then poverty could return to pre-crisis levels in just three years, rather than in over a decade, according to the report.

Oxfam’s report also pointed out that if rising inequality is not tackled, 501 million more people than the start of the pandemic would be in poverty, earning only $5.50 per day, in 2030, adding that women would be hit harder than men.

The pandemic has cost the lives of 2,129,597 people across the globe as of Monday, Jan. 25, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University data.

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