Anti-poverty group, Oxfam, says the world’s 10 richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began, noting that this is more than enough to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for everyone in the world.
Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty. It was founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.
The NGO states, “The 1,000 richest people on the planet recouped their Covid-19 losses within just nine months, but it could take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recover.”
It added that “the world’s 10 richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began — more than enough to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for everyone in the world.”
According to Business Insider, top 10 richest people in the world are:
- Jeff Bezos – $192.3 billion
- Elon Musk – $182.9 billion
- Bernard Arnault & Family – $148.4 billion
- Bill Gates – $121.6 billion
- Mark Zuckerberg – $99.8 billion
- Zhong Shanshan – $89.2 billion
- Warren Buffet – $89.1 billion
- Larry Ellison – $86.5 billion
- Larry Page – $82.6 billion
- Mukesh Ambani – $81.8 billion
Oxfam said the emergency created by the pandemic was aggravating inequality.
But government action to curtail the virus’ spread can still face stiff opposition. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned “criminal violence” on Monday after anti-curfew protesters went on the rampage.
Police arrested 250 people after using water cannon and tear gas during demonstrations in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and other towns on Sunday.
Eindhoven mayor John Jorritsma said that if the country continued “down this path, then I think we are heading for civil war”.
Scientists say the only way out of the pandemic is large-scale vaccinations, but the roll-out has stuttered in many places.
Egypt began its programme, with a doctor and a nurse getting the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.
Health Minister Hala Zayed said Cairo had inked deals for vaccine shipments from British, Chinese and Russian firms, for a total of around 100 million doses — enough for about half of Egypt’s population.
Australia’s medical regulator formally approved the Pfizer vaccine, with the first doses expected to be administered in late February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday.
But France’s Pasteur Institute said Monday it was ending development of a vaccine with US pharmaceutical company Merck after clinical trial results proved disappointing.
It was a further blow for hopes of a French-led vaccine following recent news that leading national pharmaceutical company Sanofi is also struggling to bring its candidate to market.
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