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Oxfam slams billionaire pandemic ‘bonanza’ as millions face poverty


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Every 30 hours, a new billionaire was born during the Covid-19 epidemic. Nearly a million of them could be in danger. Extreme poverty is expected to grow at about the same pace in 2022. These are some of the shocking statistics Oxfam recently revealed.

The global charity stated that 573 billionaires were more wealthy in March 2022 than they were in February 2020 when the pandemic started. This was according to a short statement published Monday at the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos. Oxfam stated that this is equivalent to one billionaire becoming rich every 30 minutes.

It also estimated that the rising global inequality, pandemic and increasing food prices, which have all been made worse by the conflict in Ukraine, could lead to 263 million people falling into extreme poverty by 2022. Oxfam stated that it is equivalent to almost a million people being affected every 33 hours.

As of March, $12.7 trillion was the collective wealth of billionaires. Billionaire wealth was estimated to account for nearly 14% global gross domestic products in 2021.

Gabriela Bucher is the executive director at Oxfam International. She stated that millionaires are arriving in Davos because they want to witness an extraordinary rise in their fortunes.

She said, “The pandemic, and the sharp increases in energy and food prices, have been, simply put. A bonanza.”

Bucher stated, “Meanwhile the decades of extreme poverty progress are in reverse” and that millions of people face unimaginable rises in their cost of living.

Pandemic floods

Oxfam focuses on the soaring wealth of certain business sectors and says that the fortunes for billionaires in food and energy have increased by $453 billion over the past two years. This is equivalent to approximately $1 billion per day.

Oxfam reported that Cargill, a food company, was one of the four firms with more than 70% control over global agriculture market. The corporation, owned by the Cargill family, generated a net income of nearly $5 billion last year — the biggest profit in its history. It said that 12 millionaires are part of the Cargill clan, up from 8 prior to the pandemic.

Oxfam reported that the pandemic resulted in 40 billionaires for the pharmaceuticals industry. Billionaires were those who made a fortune from the monopoly their companies have over vaccines, treatment and personal protective equipment.

Oxfam suggested that countries levy a one-off tax on billionaire’s wealth to help prevent further inequality and support those who are struggling to pay rising energy and food costs.

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