Poverty and inequality
Please click here and here to access the main findings of the World Bank report titled Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course (released in October 2022).
Kindly click here to access the Malcolm Adiseshiah Memorial Lecture titled 'Understanding Inequality' (released in 2022) delivered by Prof. Reetika Khera. Please note that Prof. Reetika Khera, IIT Delhi, and Prof. Avijit Pathak, JNU were selected for the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award – 2021.
• The wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began. The incomes of 99 percent of humanity are worse off because of COVID-19. Over 160 million people are projected to have been pushed into poverty since the pandemic began.
• Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds.
• 252 men have more wealth than all 1 billion women and girls in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, combined.
• Since 1995, the top 1 percent have captured nearly 20 times more of global wealth than the bottom 50 percent of humanity.
• 3.4 million Black Americans would be alive today if their life expectancy was the same as White people’s. Before COVID-19, that alarming number was already 2.1 million.
• Twenty of the richest billionaires are estimated, on average, to be emitting as much as 8,000 times more carbon than the billion poorest people.
• Every day inequality contributes to the deaths of at least 21,300 people. That’s one person every four seconds.
• Five facts about the world's 10 richest men:
- The wealth of the 10 richest men has doubled, while the incomes of 99 percent of humanity are worse off, because of COVID-19.
- The 10 richest men in the world own more than the bottom 3.1 billion people.
- If the 10 richest men spent a million dollars each a day, it would take them 414 years to spend their combined wealth.
- If the richest 10 billionaires sat on top of their combined wealth piled up in US dollar bills, they would reach almost halfway to the moon.
- A 99 percent windfall tax on the COVID-19 wealth gains of the 10 richest men could pay to make enough vaccines for the entire world and fill financing gaps in climate measures, universal health and social protection, and efforts to address genderbased violence in over 80 countries, while still leaving these men $8bn better off than they were before the pandemic.
• An estimated 5.6 million people die every year for lack of access to healthcare in poor countries.
• At a minimum, 67,000 women die each year due to female genital mutilation, or murder at the hands of a former or current partner.
• Hunger kills over 2.1 million people each year at a minimum.
• By 2030, the climate crisis could kill 231,000 people each year in poor countries.
The key findings of the Oxfam India's report titled Inequality Kills -- India Supplement (released in January 2022) are as follows (please click here to access):
• When 84 percent of households in the country suffered a decline in their income in a year marked by tremendous loss of life and livelihoods, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142.
• The collective wealth of India’s 100 richest people hit a record high of INR 57.3 lakh crore (USD 775 billion) in 2021.
• Just a one percent wealth tax on 98 richest billionaire families in India can finance Ayushman Bharat, the national public health insurance fund of the Government of India for more than seven years.
• In India, during the pandemic (since March 2020, through to November 30th, 2021) the wealth of billionaires increased from INR 23.14 lakh crore (USD 313 billion) to INR 53.16 lakh crore (USD 719 billion). More than 4.6 crore Indians meanwhile are estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 (nearly half of the global new poor according to the United Nations.) The stark wealth inequality in India is a result of an economic system rigged in favour of the super-rich over the poor and marginalised.
• The briefing advocates a one percent surcharge on the richest 10 percent of the Indian population to fund inequality combating measures such as higher investments in school education, universal healthcare, and social security benefits like maternity leaves, paid leaves and pension for all Indians.