In advance of next week’s World Economic Forum, UK-based charity and international rights group Oxfam released a new report highlighting the increasing wealth gap between the world’s rich and poor.According to the report, the combined income of the world’s 100 richest persons in 2012—roughly $240 billion—would be enough to end global poverty four times over. With the wealthiest 1% having seen a 60 percent earnings increase in the last 20 years despite major international financial crises, Oxfam calls for a “Global New Deal” that would curb this trend through measures such as comprehensive employment laws and closing tax havens.
From Al Jazeera: “We sometimes talk about the ‘have-nots’ and the ‘haves’ — well, we’re talking about the ‘have-lots’. […] We’re anti-poverty agency. We focus on poverty, we work with the poorest people around the world. You don’t normally hear us talking about wealth. But it’s gotten so out of control between rich and poor that one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty is now extreme wealth,” Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam, told Al Jazeera. “We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true,” said Jeremy Hobbs, an executive director at Oxfam.