The number of people living in poverty globally could have increased by up to 500 million last year, according to a UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research paper cited by Oxfam.
Other reports also found the pandemic has greatly hurt the poor. An October World Bank study found the pandemic could push as many as 60 million people into extreme poverty.
To fight this growing inequality, governments should ensure everyone has access to a Covid-19 vaccine and financial support if they lose their jobs. This is the time for longer-term investments in public services and low-carbon sectors to create millions of jobs and ensure everyone has access to education, health care and social care.
In the US, Oxfam urged Congress to pass an economic recovery plan investing in green jobs and supports the child care industry to help women return to work, and provide more aid in the global fight against the pandemic.