Cost of living crisis could turn into disaster with 860 million people at risk of extreme poverty – Oxfam

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The world confederation of charities which focuses on global poverty said COVID-19 and rising food prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are driving up food prices and causing a surge in global inequality.

Bucher said many people around the world are having to choose between food, heating or medical bills as they battle the steep rise in the cost of living, as brief estimates of global food prices alone will push 65 million additional people in extreme poverty.

The brief notes that people in the poorest countries are hardest hit, with rising food prices accounting for 17% of consumer spending in rich countries, while in poorer countries it accounts for up to 40%. .

Oxfam has seen a wave of governments approaching default and have been forced to cut public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel. It calls on countries to cancel all debt payments to developing countries in need of urgent aid, which would free up more than $30 billion in funds for 33 countries.

Oxfam is also calling for the creation of a Global Social Protection Fund to help the poorest countries provide essential income security to their people.

“Now more than ever, with such a scale of human suffering and inequality laid bare and compounded by multiple global crises, this unwillingness is inexcusable and we reject it. The G20, World Bank and IMF must immediately cancel debts and increase aid to the poorest countries, and act together to protect ordinary people from preventable catastrophe,” Bucher said.

“The world is watching.”

The wealth of billionaires is skyrocketing

The brief also notes that despite the increased costs of COVID-19 to countries, the wealth of billionaires has grown more since the pandemic than in the previous 14 years combined.

“This terrifying prospect is made even more sickening by the fact that trillions of dollars have been captured by a small group of powerful men who have no interest in interrupting this trajectory,” Bucher said.

Oxfam has found that an annual wealth tax for millionaires starting at just 2% and 5% for billionaires would generate US$2.52 trillion a year, enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty , make enough COVID vaccines for the world, and deliver universal health. care for low-income countries.

The charity also found that an additional tax on just 32 super-profitable multinational companies could have generated $104 billion in revenue in 2020.

“We reject any idea that governments do not have the money or the means to lift everyone out of poverty and hunger and ensure their health and well-being. We see only the absence economic imagination and political will to do so,” Bucher said.

Oxfam is calling for the introduction of a single, permanent wealth tax to fund the recovery from COVID-19 and the introduction of an excess profits tax for large multinational companies.

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