oxfam: Covid, inequality, inflation could push 263 million people into extreme poverty in 2022: Report | India News


NEW DELHI: A new report from Oxfam International estimates that the combined crises of Covid-19, rising inequality and galloping food prices could push up to 263 million people into extreme poverty in 2022, reversing decades of progress. That’s the equivalent of a million people every 33 hours, the report says.
Another worrying impact is that the gender pay gap has only widened – before the pandemic it was expected to take 100 years to close; now it will take 136 years. “In 2021, there were 13 million fewer women in work compared to 2019, while male employment returned to 2019 levels,” the report said.
According to the analysis, during the pandemic, women have been disproportionately pushed out of employment, especially as lockdowns and social distancing have affected a highly feminized workforce in service sectors, such as as tourism, hotels and healthcare. The increase in unpaid work has prevented millions of women from re-entering the labor market.
Highlighting stark inequalities, Oxfam’s analysis of the latest Forbes data shows there are 2,668 billionaires worldwide, 573 more than in 2020 when the pandemic began. “At the same time, the incomes of 99% of humanity have plummeted due to Covid-19, with the equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs lost in 2021,” the report titled “Profiting from Pain which will be released on Monday. at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
To explain the deep gap, the report points out that for every new billionaire created during the pandemic – one every 30 hours – almost a million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2022 at about the same rate. It says the wealth of billionaires has soared during the Covid-19 pandemic as companies in the food, pharmaceutical, energy and tech sectors have cashed in.
In a statement, Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher, while explaining the impact of the pandemic, said: “Decades of progress on extreme poverty are now being reversed and millions of people are facing impossible increases in the cost of simply staying alive”.
The report highlighted the urgent need for governments to implement highly progressive fiscal measures which, in turn, must be used to invest in powerful and proven measures to reduce inequality.

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