The greatest fortunes increase with the pandemic while 99% are impoverished

London, Jan 17 (EFE) .- The ten richest men in the world have doubled their fortunes during the pandemic, while 99% of humanity has seen their income fall, denounces a report published this Monday by the international fight organization against poverty Oxfam. Oxfam, based in Nairobi (Kenya), has released the study on the occasion of the celebration between today and January 21 of the Davos Agenda of the World Economic Forum, which takes place virtually before a possible face-to-face event in Switzerland next June. The entity criticizes that the top ten fortunes went from 700,000 million dollars to add about 1.5 trillion during the almost two years of the pandemic, according to data obtained from various sources, including the World Bank. According to “Forbes” magazine, the richest people were, as of November 30, 2021, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and family, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffet, who saw their capital increase by more than 821,000 million dollars since March 2020. The group of global millionaires has increased their fortune by about 5 trillion dollars, the largest increase on record, the NGO points out in its report ” Inequality kills.” At the same time that “a millionaire was created every 26 hours”, 99% of humanity was impoverished and 160 million more people fell into poverty, he says. Oxfam states that economic and social inequality contributes to the death of “at least 21,000 people every day, or one every four seconds”, due to lack of access to healthcare, exposure to gender-based violence, hunger or poverty. climate crisis. SETBACKS IN EQUALITY The NGO also points out that the pandemic has caused women to lose some 800,000 million dollars in income in 2020, with 13 million fewer employees. It is estimated that only 252 men earn more than one billion women in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, he maintains. The organization led by the Colombian Gabriela Bucher recalls that the pandemic has harmed people from ethnic minorities more, such as citizens of Bangladeshi origin in the United Kingdom, who have five times more risk of dying from covid than their white neighbors. Likewise, blacks in Brazil are 1.5 times more likely to die from the disease, while 3.4 million African-Americans “would be alive if their life expectancy were the same as whites.” The NGO also denounces that, for the first time in years, the inequality gap between countries is expected to widen, due in part to the insufficient support that rich states have provided to the poor during the pandemic. Oxfam points out that, despite the high cost of fighting the virus, governments in developed countries have not raised taxes on high incomes and instead have kept public goods such as vaccine technology in the private sector and encouraged monopolies. business. FISCAL PROPOSALS The organization, which recognizes positive signs from the United States and China in combating this inequality, asks executives to “impose taxes on profits accumulated during the pandemic.” It proposes that these tax revenues be invested in universal public health and social security, as well as in the fight against climate change and racism and the prevention of gender violence. Oxfam is also calling for the removal of laws that undermine the right of workers to organize for their interests through unions and through strikes, and for increased protection. Rich-country governments must also relax intellectual property rules so that more states can make vaccines, he says. “There is no shortage of money,” as has been seen with the millions released to fight the pandemic, Bucher declares in a statement. “What there is is a shortage of the courage and imagination that are needed to be freed from the failed and deadly straitjacket of extreme neoliberalism,” maintained the activist, who urged the rulers to listen to the citizen movements that demand justice and justice. equality. EFE jm/er/psh

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