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The number of billionaires in Asia Pacific has increased by almost a third on pre-pandemic levels

Summary:
Coronavirus has widened the cracks in this unequal system, fuelling a pernicious cycle of poverty and economic inequality in Asia. The World Bank estimates that coronavirus and rising economic inequality pushed 140 million additional people into poverty in Asia in 2020, and 8 million more in 2021.6 New variants alongside higher inequality levels than expected7 mean these figures are likely to be underestimates. Yet, while lockdowns and economic stagnation destroy the livelihoods of many poor and ‘just managing’ families, the region’s richest elites have recovered and even increased their fortunes. Between March and December 2020, Asia’s billionaires accrued enough additional wealth to cover a salary of almost ,000 for each of the 147 million equivalent jobs lost in the region during

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Coronavirus has widened the cracks in this unequal system, fuelling a
pernicious cycle of poverty and economic inequality in Asia. The World Bank
estimates that coronavirus and rising economic inequality pushed 140
million additional people into poverty in Asia in 2020, and 8 million more in
2021.6 New variants alongside higher inequality levels than expected7 mean
these figures are likely to be underestimates.

Yet, while lockdowns and economic stagnation destroy the livelihoods of
many poor and ‘just managing’ families, the region’s richest elites have
recovered and even increased their fortunes. Between March and December
2020, Asia’s billionaires accrued enough additional wealth to cover a salary
of almost $10,000 for each of the 147 million equivalent jobs lost in the
region during that time.8 By November 2021, the number of billionaires in
Asia Pacific had increased by almost a third on pre-pandemic levels,9 with
their collective wealth growing by 74%.
Oxfam report

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