According to Oxfam, the ten richest people in the world have doubled their wealth to $1.5 trillion during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report published in Berlin, the ten richest people increased their combined wealth from $144 billion to about $256 billion.
“For billionaires, the pandemic is like a gold rush,” Oxfam spokesman Manuel Schmitt said. “Governments have poured billions into the economy, but most of it has gone to the people who stand to benefit the most from rising stock prices.”
Oxfam lists Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the richest person in the world with a net worth of $294.2 billion, citing Forbes magazine data, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and French billionaire Bernard Arnault.
“The gulf between the richest and the rest of humanity has thus widened dramatically,” the authors of the report state.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, about half of the world's population, or 3.2 billion people, lived in poverty. To date, this number has increased by 160 million people, according to Oxfam. As the economies of the poorer countries have yet to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the poorest 20% have been hardest hit by the loss of income.
Oxfam is calling on governments around the world to impose higher taxes on corporations and the super-rich, and to use the proceeds from this to develop social services. In addition, it is necessary to abandon patents for coronavirus vaccines and ensure their fair distribution on the planet, the association believes.