Oxfam International said during a report titled ‘Profiting from Pain’ released on Monday (May 23, 2022) that now the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in one new billionaire emerging every 30 hours, whilst also nearly one million people might well be pushed into extreme poverty every 33 hours this year.
As the world’s rich and powerful gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022, Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher declared that decades of progress on extreme poverty are “now in reverse,” and millions of people face “impossible rises” in the cost of simply existing.
According to the Nairobi-based charity report, the number of billionaires has increased by 573 since 2020, to just under 2,700. According to the report, their total wealth had increased by nearly $3.8 trillion to $12.7 trillion, based on data from Forbes.
According to the report, billionaires’ wealth has increased more in the first 24 months of Covid-19 than in the previous 23 years combined. According to Oxfam, the total wealth of the world’s billionaires is now equal to 13.9 percent of global GDP, a threefold increase (up from 4.4 percent in 2000).
Billionaires’ fortunes have not grown because they have become smarter or worked harder. Workers are working longer hours, for less pay, and in less favorable conditions. For decades, the super-rich has rigged the system with impunity, and they are now reaping the benefits.
They have seized a shocking amount of the world’s wealth through privatization and monopolies, gutting regulation, and workers’ rights whilst also stashing their cash in tax havens — all with government complicity.
For every one billionaire minted since the pandemic began, 1M more people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2022. While the world is reeling from multiple crises, the world’s wealthiest are unashamedly #ProfitingFromPain of ordinary people🧑🏭Morehttps://t.co/47FyVW5b0U pic.twitter.com/rRlKAFv1Nj
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) May 23, 2022
According to Oxfam, there are 2,668 billionaires today, 573 more than in 2020, who own $12.7 trillion, a $3.78 trillion increase. According to the report, the world’s ten richest men own more wealth than the bottom 40% of humanity or 3.1 billion people.
According to Oxfam, the Covid-19 pandemic has also resulted in the creation of 40 new pharmaceutical billionaires. It went on to say that pharmaceutical companies like Moderna and Pfizer make $1,000 per second just from their “monopoly control” of Covid-19 vaccines.
According to Oxfam, the combination of coronavirus outbreaks, rising inequality, and rising food prices could push up to 263 million people into extreme poverty by 2022.
The World Bank defines the extremely poor as those who live on less than $1.90 per day.
Food prices, which had already been rising due to Covid-19 disruptions and weather woes during the pandemic, skyrocketed when the Russia-Ukraine war strained grain and oil supplies.