History will probably remember the pandemic as “the first time since records began that inequality is rising in almost every country on earth at the same time.” This is the verdict of the Oxfam report on inequality covering 2020 – a terrible year that hit the poorest and heaviest on the planet.
Why it matters: The world’s poorest have already been racing against time, facing existential risk in the form of global climate change. According to the World Bank, the coronavirus pandemic could bring back global poverty reduction for a decade.
- The virus has revealed how work, healthcare and education systems create additional disadvantages for low-income families and minorities, while allowing the richest to recover quickly.
- Most of the nearly 300 economists around the world surveyed by Oxfam said they expected the virus to exacerbate inequalities between gender (56%), race (66%), wealth (78%) and income (87%) in their countries. .
By numbers: The number of people living on less than $ 1
- More than 3 billion people did not have access to health care, and three-quarters of workers did not have access to hospital care. Meanwhile, the wealth of the top 1% continued to increase.
How it works: In the United States, 22,000 black and Hispanic Americans would still be alive today if their coronavirus mortality was the same as that of whites – the result of unequal access to health care, disproportionate levels of living conditions, and other complex deficiencies in color communities. Axios reported.
Yes, but: While inequality within countries have deteriorated a lot in 2020, the world as a whole may have become less uneven. This is because rich countries were generally more affected by the coronavirus than the poorest countries, which tend to have a much younger population.
What to watch: School closures have affected about 1.7 billion children worldwide. But children in rich countries can continue their education online and have been expelled from school for much less time – an average of about six weeks, compared to four months for children in the poorest countries. Millions of girls left school in 2020 and will never return.
Bottom row: As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: “While we are all sailing on the same sea, it is clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the wreckage.”