More than 260 million people could be plunged into extreme poverty in 2022 as a result of the pandemic, the increase in global inequalities and the exorbitant increase in food prices, according to Oxfam in a report published this Tuesday. All this will be amplified by the war in Ukraine. “If radical and immediate measures are not taken, we could be facing the greatest increase in the levels of extreme poverty and suffering of humanity of which there is evidence,” the director of Oxfam Intermón, Franc Cortada, warned in a statement.
The document, titled After the crisis, the catastrophe, published on the occasion of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington DC, points out that, by the end of this year, a total of 860 million people could live in extreme poverty (with less than 1.9 dollars up to date). This situation is also reflected in the levels of hunger worldwide, according to the report, since the number of people suffering from malnutrition could reach 827 million this year.
The World Bank had estimated that COVID-19 and worsening inequalities could push an additional 198 million people into extreme poverty by 2022, reversing two decades of progress. Based on studies by the World Bank, Oxfam Intermón now estimates that the increase in food prices at the global level alone will plunge an additional 65 million people into extreme poverty, reaching 263 million this year, which is equivalent to the populations of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain combined.
Situation in Spain
Regarding Spain, the NGO warns that the rise in the CPI to 9.8% in March, the highest recorded since May 1985, already represents a global loss of purchasing power (16,700 million euros, according to Funcas), and It especially affects households with lower incomes. This situation, as Oxfam warns, places the country in a reality of inflation crisis that aggravates the situation generated by the pandemic, where in the first year of the pandemic, more than a million people found themselves in a situation of severe material deprivation and The economic and social impact of the virus has already meant that more than 600,000 households have gone on to live without any type of income.
The report also shows that poverty is worsening in entire countries and criticizes that governments “continue not to increase taxes on the richest.” According to him, an annual wealth tax -starting at just 2% for millionaire fortunes and reaching 5% in the case of billionaires- could generate 2.52 billion dollars each year, “enough to get out of the poverty to 2,300 million people”.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Faced with this situation, Oxfam launches some recommendations such as that the G-20, the World Bank and the IMF increase aid to poor countries and forgive their debt “immediately”. It also proposes increasing aid funds and allocating new funds to pay for the response in Ukraine and for the reception of refugees, “instead of diverting funds destined to face other crises in poorer countries.”