For every new billionaire created during the pandemic — one every 30 hours — nearly a million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2022 at nearly the same rate, according to Oxfam.
For every new billionaire created during the pandemic — one every 30 hours — nearly a million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2022 at nearly the same rate, reveals a new Oxfam brief May 23.
“Profiting from Pain” is published as the World Economic Forum — the exclusive get-together of the global elite in Davos — takes place for the first time face-to-face since COVID-19, a period during which billionaires have enjoyed a huge boost to their fortunes.
“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,” said Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International.
The brief shows that 573 people became new billionaires during the pandemic, at the rate of one every 30 hours. We expect this year that 263 million more people will crash into extreme poverty, at a rate of a million people every 33 hours.
Billionaires’ wealth has risen more in the first 24 months of COVID-19 than in 23 years combined. The total wealth of the world’s billionaires is now equivalent to 13.9% of global GDP. This is a three-fold increase (up from 4.4%) in 2000.
Read More: Pandemic Created 1 New Billionaire Every 30 Hours, Now Millions Could Face ‘Extreme’ Poverty