The inequality virus: Bringing together a world torn apart by coronavirus through a fair, just and sustainable economy

The world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by $540 billion (£400 billion) during the pandemic, while the crisis threatens a lost decade in the fight against poverty, Oxfam revealed today in a report published on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda. The increase in the wealth of the ten richest is more than enough to both pay for a Covid-19 vaccine for everyone on the planet and reverse the rise in poverty caused by the pandemic. However, while the wealth of the richest increases, support for the poorest is being squeezed with the UK and other donors cutting aid to the world’s poorest. Oxfam’s report "The Inequality Virus' found that Covid-19 has the potential to increase economic inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began over a century ago. It sets out how a rigged economy is enabling a super-rich elite to amass wealth in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, while billions of people are struggling amid the worst job crisis in over 90 years. Unless rising inequality is tackled, half a billion more people could be living in poverty on less than $5.50 (£4.00) a day in 2030, than at the start of the pandemic.