Oxfam: capacity 10 richest men doubled, poverty increased during pandemic

The capacity of the ten richest men in the world has doubled in the first two years of the corona pandemic, while over 160 million people fell into poverty over the same period. Oxfam Novib concludes that in the annual report on economic inequality in the world.

The report also shows that women and other disadvantaged groups are particularly hit hard. Women and girls would have collectively lost $800 billion in revenue by 2020.

The new cabinet must do more to tackle extreme inequality and increasing poverty in the world firmly, according to the development organization. โ€œThe Netherlands has a role to play here, but that urgency is hardly reflected in the coalition agreement that is being discussed in the House of Representatives this week,โ€ says Michiel Servaes, Managing Director of Oxfam Novib. โ€œWhen it comes to international solidarity, tackling tax avoidance and a fair distribution of vaccines, the ambition must really increase.โ€

The Oxfam report reads that the wealth of billionaires worldwide has increased faster since the start of the pandemic than in the last 14 years. Its about an increase of 5 trillion dollars: the biggest measured increase ever, says Oxfam. Economic inequality is also great in the Netherlands. The total wealth of the 2120 richest Dutch people is greater than that of the 10 million poorest.

โ€œThe obscene wealth of the richest is hardly comprehensible. During the pandemic, the ten richest men in the world made 15,000 dollars per second or 1.3 billion dollars a day,โ€ says Servaes. โ€œThe fact that together they now have six times more power than the poorest 3.1 billion people expose the worlds extreme inequality.โ€

Oxfam expects that inequality will only increase further in the coming period, partly due to the attitude of rich countries such as the Netherlands. โ€œFor example, the EU is refusing support for the temporary lifting of vaccine patents so that only 8.6 percent of the inhabitants of Africa have been vaccinated. (…) International institutions, such as the IMF, are also pressuring developing countries to cut back on social spending,โ€ can be read in Oxfams press release.

The report was published on day that world leaders and top people meet online at the World Economic Forum.