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18 Jan, 2016 10:23

Richest 62 people own as much as poorest half of world's population - report

The gap between rich and poor is widening according to the charity Oxfam, which reports that the 62 world’s richest people own the same as the poorest half of the planet's population.

Oxfam also says the richest one percent of the world’s 7.3 billion people owns the same as the rest of the world combined.

"Instead of an economy that works for the prosperity of all, for future generations, and for the planet, we have instead created an economy for the one percent," it said.

In the report,’ An Economy for the 1%’, Oxfam confirmed its last year’s predictions, that the one percent would overtake the wealth of rest of the world. 

The wealth of the 62 richest increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion over the last six years while the wealth of the poorest 3.6 billion people fell by a trillion dollars.

Six years ago, 388 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom 50 percent.

READ MORE: Poverty & inequality costs 550 lives each day in UK

“Power and privilege are being used to rig the system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest of us to levels we have not seen before. Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being pulled upwards at an alarming rate,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America.

He added that “while such extreme inequality is bad for all of us, it’s the poorest among us who suffer the grimmest consequences.”

Oxfam’s report was published ahead of the 46th World Economic Forum which is to take place in Davos, Switzerland this week. It called for urgent action to tackle the extreme inequality crisis, criticizing the amount of money kept in tax havens.

Oxfam said the widening gap in wages for workers and executives should be narrowed. It also called for an end to the gender pay gap, compensation for unpaid care and the promotion of equal land and inheritance rights for women.