Rising food prices will push 65 million people into extreme poverty

  • Oxfam Intermón estimates that more than 10% of the world population will live this year with less than 1.90 dollars a day

  • The NGO blames the covid, the increase in inequalities and the inflation caused by industrial bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine

It was two months before covid officially became a pandemic, and Oxfam Intermon he already lamented in his annual report that poverty was being reduced more and more slowly throughout the world. “In 2030 there will continue to be hundreds of millions of people in a situation of extreme poverty & rdquor ;, criticized the NGO in this document. Two years, a war and several months of skyrocketing inflation later, the same organization estimates that the figure will approach one billion and this year: according to its latest calculations, 860 million people – 11% of the world’s population – will end up the year surviving on less than 1.90 dollars a day (1.70 euros), the threshold that the world Bank established to determine extreme poverty.

This financial entity had already warned that the covid and the worsening of social inequalities could lead 198 million people to this situation throughout 2022. To this amount, the NGO now adds the “exorbitant increase & rdquor; of food prices, which according to the institution will have a decisive impact on another 65 million people. Thus, if these forecasts are fulfilled, at the end of 2022 there will be 260 million people in the world in a situation of extreme poverty who were not at the beginning of the year, an increase that is equivalent to the population of the United Kingdom, France, Germany Y Spain together.

“If radical and immediate measures are not taken, we may be facing the largest increase in the levels of extreme poverty and suffering of humanity of which there is evidence & rdquor ;, warns the director of Oxfam, Frank Cut. “This picture is more bleak if you take into account the number of trillions of dollars hoarded by a handful of powerful men with no interest in stopping this escalation & rdquor ;, he adds.

This official refers to another study published by the same NGO at the beginning of the year that indicates that the ten richest men in the world they have doubled their fortune in the two years that we have been in the pandemic to exceed 1.5 billion dollars (1.3 billion euros).

Inequalities grow

On the opposite side, Oxfam points to the long string of obstacles faced by lower income earners. “People in poverty are the most affected by this crisis & rdquor ;, the organization said in a statement. “The increase in food prices accounts for 17% of consumer spending and consumers in rich countries, but reaches 40% in sub-Saharan Africa & rdquor ;, he highlights. And inflation – they continue – is altering “exacerbatingly & rdquor; inequalities: in the United States, for example, the poorest 20% of families allocate almost 3 of every 10 euros they earn to purchases, while the richest 20% spend less than one.

To this must be added, in fact, that incomes have been stagnating or even reduced for the majority of workers around the world. In Spain specifically, the 10% rise in the price of the shopping basket until March represents an increase in CPI (Consumer Price Index) highest in almost 40 years and implies a global loss of purchasing power of 16.7 billion euros, according to Funcas.

Plus taxes and aid

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To improve this picture, the NGO resorts to measures that are habitual claims in the organization: introducing taxes on wealth, taxing the extraordinary profits of large corporations, canceling debt payments to developing countries that need it, increasing aid funds and allocate new economic packages to cover the response to Ukraine.

“It is necessary that the G20the world Bank and the IMF increase aid to poor countries, write off their debt immediately and, jointly, protect the people of the street from an avoidable catastrophe & rdquor ;, concludes Cortada. “We reject the idea that governments do not have sufficient funds or means to lift all people out of hunger and poverty and guarantee their health and well-being; on the contrary, what we do see is a total lack of economic creativity and political will to do it & rdquor ;, she stresses.

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