As the World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos, the charity Oxfam has issued its annual report on wealth, poverty and inequality. It makes some bold assertions. But there are skeptics.
Researchers at Oxfam, a nonprofit devoted to combating poverty, examined billionaires who collectively own $2.4 trillion in company equity, with investments across 183 companies.
The poverty-fighting charity points to unprecedented new wealth accrued by the ultra-rich — and asserts that the result of the world's growing inequality is "economic violence" for the impoverished.
In areas with limited access to clean running water, hand-washing stations can help limit the spread of disease. But experts say not all taps are created equal.
Oxfam has issued its annual report on the gap between the wealthy and the poor — and offered a solution.
In a heavily redacted report of its 2011 inquiry into the hiring of prostitutes in Haiti, Oxfam said three staff members physically threatened a witness interviewed by investigators.
Staffers and researchers were disturbed by the Oxfam scandal in Haiti — but not shocked. "This is a sector-wide problem," says human rights lawyer Megan Nobert.
Penny Lawrence, the U.K.-based charity's deputy chief executive, said she was "deeply sad" and "ashamed" that the behavior occurred on her watch.
The annual report is intended for the rich and powerful who gather in Davos to talk about world poverty. And it causes the Twittersphere to flare up.
Oxfam calls the level of inequality in the country "obscene." The disparity is only growing, the charity says, in light of what it describes as the misallocation of the country's resources.