The world's richest 100 people earned enough last year to end extreme poverty for the planet's poorest people four times over, Oxfam said.
An "explosion in extreme wealth" was hindering efforts to tackle poverty, the charity said in a briefing released ahead of next week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Oxfam said the net income last year of the 100 richest people was 240 billion US dollars (£150 billion) in its report.
The briefing, called Releasing The Cost Of Inequality: How Wealth And Income Extremes Hurt Us All, noted that people in "extreme poverty" live on less than 1.25 US dollars (78p) per day. The charity called on world leaders to commit to reducing inequality to levels last seen in 1990.
The break-up of the eurozone could cost the world's poorest countries nearly £20 billion a year in lost trade and investment - the equivalent of almost a quarter of global aid - Oxfam warned.
As leaders of the world's biggest economies prepare to meet at the G20 summit in Mexico, the aid charity warned that the woes of the single currency threaten the living standards of people well beyond the shores of Europe.
The eurozone crisis is set to dominate next week's G20 gathering, but Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking urged the leaders - including David Cameron - not to forget the needs of the world's poorest countries.
The TUC general secretary Brendan Barber has said the Department of Work and Pension's figures published today show that the previous government's investments made a "huge difference to reducing child and pensioner poverty". But Mr Barber also said:
There is a real danger that the vital headway the last government made into getting children out of poverty will now go into reverse.
Moving the goalposts on what constitutes poverty won't help improve conditions for children living below the breadline. Spending on tax credits and benefits took children out of poverty - now government cuts are sending them straight back.
Researchers Paul Johnson, Robert Joyce and David Phillips from the Institute for Fiscal Studies have responded to today's Household Below Average Income figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The government has re-stated its commitment to the 2020-21 income-based child poverty targets that it inherited (and had voted for).
This leaves the government in the position of having a target looming in just eight years, without policies which are likely to transform the distribution of income anywhere near radically enough over that kind of timescale.
The chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group has said today that the Department of Work and Pension's plans to change the way relative income poverty is measured is the "single best indicator of whether 'we are all in it together'". Alison Garnham responded to the report:
Families and children have been made the main target of the coalition's austerity agenda and experts now predict child poverty will rise dramatically.
If we side-line income poverty it will backfire and we will see an increase in problems like debt, family breakdown, poor health and addiction.
The Shadow Chancellor has responded to the government's plans to change the way child poverty is measured. Ed Balls said he was "proud" of Labour's record on child poverty:
"I fear all that progress is set to be undone by this Government's unfair and failing economic policies. With long-term unemployment rising and deep cuts to tax credits and childcare support making thousands of parents better off quitting work, there is a real risk that child poverty will now rise".
"What we need is a plan to get the economy growing again, tax credits to make work pay and services like Sure Start to give every child, and not just some, the best start in life."
The Department for Work and Pensions published their annual Households Below Average Income report today. Researchers Jonathan Cribb, Robert Joyce, and David Phillips from the Institute of Fiscal Studies have found that:
2010-11 saw the largest one-year fall in median income since 1981, reversing five years of slow growth in middle incomes in a single year.
The number of children in relative income poverty fell by almost a third over 1998-99 period with 2.3 million children in relative poverty in 2010–11 compared with 3.4 million in 1998–99.
The last government’s target to halve relative child poverty between 1998–99 and 2010–11 was missed by 0.6 million children.
Measures of relative poverty continued to fall in 2010-11.
Absolute measures of poverty increased for the population as a whole.