The wealth of the world’s richest 10 men doubled since the start of the pandemic, even as 160 million more people were pushed into poverty. That’s the conclusion of Oxfam in its report “Inequality Kills,” released as the World Economic Forum kicked off its annual meeting — virtually, due to the pandemic. The report found global inequality is “contributing to the death of at least 21,000 people each day” — or one person every four seconds — even as the combined wealth of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and eight other men grew by $1.2 billion a day. On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres echoed Oxfam’s warning on global inequality.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth: If we leave anyone behind, in the end we leave everyone behind. If we fail to vaccinate every person, we give rise to new variants that spread across borders and bring daily life and economies to a grinding halt. And if we fail to provide debt relief and financing to developing countries, we create a lopsided recovery that can send an interconnected global economy into a tailspin.”