The pandemic has made the world’s wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam, the BBC reports.
Oxfam said the men’s wealth jumped from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion, at an average rate of $1.3 billion per day, in a briefing published before a virtual mini summit of world leaders being held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.
Lower incomes for the world’s poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day, its report claims.
But the world’s 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said.
Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing.
However for the second year running, the meeting (scheduled for this week) will be online-only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event.
Oxfam’s report, which was also based on data from the World Bank, said a lack of access to healthcare, hunger, gender-based violence and climate breakdown contributed to one death every four seconds.
It said 160 million more people were living on less than $5.50 (£4.02) a day than would have been without the impact of the Covid pandemic.
The World Bank uses $5.50 a day as a measure of poverty in upper-middle-income countries.