The combined earnings of the 10 richest people in the world during the coronavirus pandemic reached $ 540 billion, according to a recent study by the organization Oxfam.
This quantity it would be enough to prevent the world’s inhabitants from falling into poverty because of the virus and to pay for a vaccine for all, assured the NGO.
Their report found that the total wealth of billionaires was equivalent to the total spending of all G20 governments to recover from the virus.
Also, the charity is urging governments to consider taxing the super rich.
The report, “The virus of inequality” (Inequality Virus, in English), was published this Monday as world leaders meet virtually for the “Davos Dialogue” meeting of the World Economic Forum.
Unprecedented government support for their economies resulted in a booming stock market, boosting the wealth of billionaires, as the real economy faces the deepest recession in a century, Oxfam adds.
All over the world, billionaires’ wealth increased by $ 3.9 trillion between March 18 and December 31, 2020, and now stands at $ 11.95 trillion, which is equal to what G20 governments have spent in response to the pandemic, according to the report.
The 10 richest people, whose fortunes have increased by $ 540 billion since March 2020, include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla creator Elon Musk, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The report contends that Bezos had made so much money in September 2020 that he could have given Amazon’s 876,000 employees a $ 105,000 bonus and still be as wealthy as before the pandemic.
By comparison, for the world’s poorest, recovery could take more than a decade.
Oxfam estimates that there are up to 500 million more poor people as a result of the pandemic, reversing the decline in global poverty observed in the last two decades.
“We think this is … an opportunity to do something radical about a fairer reconstruction, to think about wealth taxes, corporate taxes and think about increasing the basic level (of social protection) for each citizen,” he told the BBC Danny Sriskandarajah, Executive Director of Oxfam.
Since the pandemic began, there have been a relatively high number of mega charities by celebrities, sports stars and business leaders who responded to the COVID-19 emergency and other causes.
Last month, MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, revealed that she had donated more than $ 4 billion to food banks and emergency relief funds in four months.
In a blog post, Scott said he wanted to help Americans who were battling the pandemic.
In June of last year, it was also reported that Bezos himself had donated $ 125 million to assist with efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
For his part, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced in April that he was transferring $ 1 billion of his assets to a fund to support relief efforts in the pandemic and other causes. This represents about a quarter of his net worth of $ 3.9 billion.
Other personalities like Bill Gates and his wife Melinda donated $ 305 million for vaccines, treatments and diagnostic development through their charitable foundation, while Harry Potter author JK Rowling gave about $ 1.3 million to help people. homeless already affected by domestic abuse during the pandemic.
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