(WATCH) Oxfam International Director Tells World Economic Forum, “COVID Has Been One of the Most Profitable Products Ever”
“Oxfam International on Monday called for wealthiest beneficiaries of the COVID pandemic to be taxed to fund childcare, education and work opportunities for women in Global South,” The Economic Times reported.
Oxfam International Director Gabriela Bucher said some industries are doing extremely well and billionaire wealth has risen greatly during the two years of the pandemic.
However, she said on the other side, women have been left out as millions, especially in the Global South, lost their jobs in the informal sector.
According to Oxfam’s website, “Oxfam: The future is equal,” a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty.
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Speaking at the WEF annual meeting about Equitable Responses to Ending the Pandemic, Bucher said billionaires were arriving at the summit to “celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes.”
Bucher mentioned that COVID has been one of the most profitable products.
“Billionaires has been, you know, unprecedented during the pandemic. And there’s been several sectors where that has been mostly concentrated. And one is, in fact, the pharma sectors, because Covid has been one of the most profitable products ever. So that’s one point to discuss in our report,” Bucher said.
In a CNBC report, Bucher added, “The pandemic and now the steep increases in food and energy prices have, simply put, been a bonanza for them.”
A new billionaire emerged every 30 hours during the Covid-19 pandemic, and nearly a million could fall into extreme poverty at around the same rate in 2022. Those are the sobering statistics recently released by Oxfam.
There were 573 more billionaires in the world by March 2022 than in 2020, when the pandemic began, the global charity said in a brief that was published on Monday, the first day of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. That equates to one new billionaire every 30 hours, Oxfam said.On top of that, it estimated that 263 million people could be pushed into extreme levels of poverty in 2022 because of the pandemic, growing global inequality and rising food prices that have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. That’s the equivalent of nearly a million people every 33 hours, Oxfam said.
The organization pointed out that billionaires were collectively worth $12.7 trillion as of March. In 2021, billionaire wealth represented the equivalent of nearly 14% of global gross domestic product.
“Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now in reverse and millions of people are facing impossible rises in the cost of simply staying alive,” Bucher added.
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