ActionAid, an international NGO working against poverty and injustice, published that the richest 1% of the global population now control over half of the global wealth, while the poorer half of the world control less than 1% of wealth, the report says.
The combined wealth of the 200 richest people in the world – $3.18 trillion – is greater than the total wealth of Africa – $2.83 trillion – and nearly equivalent to the total wealth of Brazil – $3.194 trillion.
According to the report, the richest 64 individuals control as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people combined.
“When so many of the world’s resources are controlled by so few, we cannot talk about poverty and inequality without also talking about extreme wealth, consumption patterns and elite capture of power,” said Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh. All governments have now promised to act on inequality but almost all were failing to walk the talk. The power of money was ripping societies apart, she added.
The study reveals that inequalities of all kinds are on the rise. This is happening despite the fact that the moral, political and economic justifications for such inequalities – whether between women and men, between Dalit and Brahmin, or between black and white – are increasingly being challenged.
The study finds that women in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia earn 80% less than men. Women from 32 countries also contribute as much as $3 trillion in labour value to global healthcare in 2010, nearly half of it unpaid, the report states.