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With the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19, 250 million new people are at risk of extreme poverty

Among the rise in prices stimulated by the war in Ukrainethe epidemic of COVID-19 still persistent and growing inequality, 250 million new people in the world could fall into extreme poverty this year. Huge increase that would bring the total number of people living on less than $1.9 a day to 860 million, warns Tuesday Oxfam in a report.

“The rise in world food prices alone will plunge 65 million people” into such poverty, adding to the 198 million people affected by the pandemic and rising inequality, explains the anti-poverty NGO.

“Global crises cause misery”

While Russia and Ukraine are first and fifth respectively world wheat exporters, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations announced Friday that world food prices hit their all-time high in March. “Multiple global crises are wreaking havoc on millions” and a “Herclese response” is needed, says Katy Chakrabortty, an Oxfam official, calling for debt forgiveness for low-income countries and taxation of the rich.

Overall, governments have failed to raise taxes on the richest while billionaires’ wealth has increased more since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic than in the past 14 years, Oxfam laments.

Famine in East and West Africa, Yemen and Syria

According to the report, a series of governments are on the brink of default and are being forced to cut government spending to pay their creditors and import food and fuel. The world’s poorest countries will therefore have to pay off $43 billion in debt this year, which the NGO says would be enough to cover the costs of their food imports.

Millions of people are already suffering from severe famines in East and West Africa, Yemen and in Syria,” continues Katy Chakrabortty. “The number of undernourished people could reach 827 million this year. Rising food prices account for 17% of consumer spending in rich countries, but up to 40% in sub-Saharan Africa, Oxfam said. But “even within wealthy economies, inflation increases inequality. †

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