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Billionaire Fortunes Grew $2.5 Bln A Day As Rich-poor Gap Widened: Report

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The world's richest are growing richer - by $2.5 billion every day, while the wealth of the poorest half of the global population declined by 11 percent, reveals a new report from Oxfam International.

Billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year, with a new billionaire created every two days between 2017 and 2018.

Since the global financial crisis a decade ago, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled, to a record 2,208, says the report, published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The report, titled "Public Good or Private Wealth," calls attention to the growing gap between rich and poor as the Swiss city hosts some of the world's wealthiest and most influential people.

The report says that the growing gap between rich and poor is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging several economies and fueling public anger across the globe. It reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, while not adequately taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax evasion.

The report also finds women and girls to be the hardest hit by rising economic inequality.

Tax rates for wealthy individuals and corporations have been cut dramatically.

"While corporations and the super-rich enjoy low tax bills, millions of girls are denied a decent education and women are dying for lack of maternity care," said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

Every day 10,000 people die because they lack access to affordable healthcare, according to Oxfam data.

It is estimated that if all the unpaid care work carried out by women across the globe was done by a single company it would have an annual turnover of $10 trillion - 43 times that of tech giant Apple.

The major nonprofit group, which is a confederation of 20 charitable organizations, calls on Governments to deliver real change by ensuring corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax and investing this money in free healthcare and education that benefits the poor.

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