The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the appalling income gaps – and their resulting implications for access to education, health care and any hope for a better life – between the world‘s super-rich and the hundreds of millions of people who live and die in abject poverty. Profit group Oxfam said Monday in a report to be submitted at the Davos summit in Switzerland.
The report, entitled “The Inequality Virus,” harshly criticizes “flawed and exploitative economies … entrenched inequality and oppression, namely patriarchy and structural racism, which are rooted in white supremacy” and identifies them as “the root causes of injustice and oppression.” Poverty”. .
“Globally, billionaires’ fortunes rose by a staggering $ 3.9 trillion between March 18 and December 31, 2020 … The 10 richest billionaires in the world had fortunes of $ 540 billion during that period” the report says.
“At the same time, the pandemic has resulted in hundreds of millions of people losing their jobs and suffering from poverty and hunger … It is estimated that the total number of people living in poverty could have increased by 200 to 500 million.” added.
“The pandemic has exposed the fact that most of the people on earth – who live on $ 2 to $ 10 a day – are only a paycheck away from hardship,” Oxfam said, while those with billions in their pockets bought private jets when business trips were prohibited.
According to the report, the rise in the world‘s 10 richest billionaires – especially since the crisis began – “is more than enough to prevent anyone on earth from falling into poverty from the virus and to pay for a COVID-19.” Vaccine for All “.
“The coronavirus crisis has shown us that for most of humanity there has never been a permanent escape from poverty and insecurity … it makes no general, moral or economic sense to allow billionaires in the face of this suffering from the crisis to benefit. ” the report stressed.
“Their increasing wealth should instead be used to save millions of lives and billions of livelihoods.”
The report also emphasized that women, people of color and people from the marginalized were most affected.
One of the measures called for in the report to tackle the specter of poverty and inequality that threatens to define our post-Covid world is a change in tax policy.
“Argentina has shown the way by introducing a temporary solidarity tax on the extremely rich that could generate over $ 3 billion for coronavirus interventions, including medical care and assistance to the poor and small businesses,” said it in the report.