The world’s ten wealthiest men increased their fortunes over the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic even as poverty and inequality rose, an OXFAM report released on Monday shows.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, former Microsoft CEOs Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, US investor Warren Buffet, and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the French luxury group LVMH, are among the world’s richest men, according to information sourced from Forbes.
In a briefing released ahead of a virtual mini summit of world leaders being conducted under the aegis of the World Economic Forum, Oxfam said that cumulatively, men’s fortune grew from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion at an average rate of $1.3 billion every day.
Oxfam reported that the wealth of the billionaires increased more during the pandemic than it had in the previous 14 years.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed openly both the motive of greed, and the opportunity by political and economic means, by which extreme inequality has become an instrument of economic violence,” Oxfam International’s executive director Gabriela Bucher said.
The report referred to this disparity as “economic violence,” claiming that it contributes to the deaths of 21,000 people every day owing to a lack of access to health care, gender-based violence, starvation, and climate change.
“Over 160 million people are projected to have been pushed into poverty,” the report “Inequality Kills,” which was published ahead of being held online due to the ongoing pandemic said.
The research comes after a December 2021 analysis by the organisation, which revealed that the world’s wealthiest people’s share of global wealth increased at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic.
Oxfam claimed to have based its wealth projections on up-to-date resources, including the Forbes 2021 Billionaires List.