The onset of the COVID pandemic has not only taken away the livelihood of millions of people all over the world, but it has apparently also created new billionaires.
A recent Oxfam report dubbed as “pandemic billionaires” claimed that 20 people in Asia, mostly associated with the pharmaceuticals sector, increased their wealth during the pandemic period. Saw it.
According to the report, as of March 2021, profits from pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and services needed for the COVID response have made 20 people wealthy, while the lockdown and economic stagnation destroyed the livelihoods of millions of others.
These people were mainly from India, China, Hong Kong and Japan.
The new billionaires include Li Jianquan, whose firm, Winner Medical, makes personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, and Dai Lizhong, whose company, Sensure Biotech, produces COVID-19 tests and diagnostic kits, the report said. manufactures.
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The total number of billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region increased from 803 in March 2020 to 1,087 as of November last year.
According to the report, their collective wealth increased by three-quarters (74 per cent).
The report said that the richest 1 per cent own more than 90 per cent of the poorest in the region.
The report continues to mention that the wealth gap is set to widen.
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According to Credit Suisse, by 2025, there will be 42,000 more people in Asia-Pacific worth more than $50m and 99,000 billionaires.
The number of millionaires is projected to be 15.3 million by 2025, an increase of 58 percent over 2020. Both the World Bank and the IMF have said that the coronavirus will cause a significant increase in global economic inequality.
Earlier, the World Bank predicted that global extreme poverty is expected to increase due to pandemic-related disruptions.
According to its estimates, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, increasing the total number to 150 million by 2021.
“The pandemic and the global recession could result in more than 1.4 percent of the world’s population falling into extreme poverty,” said David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group.
(with inputs from agencies)