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COVID-19 Caused Extreme Poverty – World Bank

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The extreme global poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in two decades due to COVID-19, the World Bank has predicted.

The World Bank, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said the pandemic compounds conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress.

The World Bank estimated that an additional 88 million to 115 million people would be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020.

The estimation may rise to 150 million by 2021; this depends on the severity of the economic contraction.

The biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report noted that extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day) is likely to affect 9.1% and 9.4% of the world’s population this year.

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This is a regression to the rate of 9.2% in 2017.
Before the pandemic, the poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9% in 2020.

World Bank Group President David Malpass further predicted that coronavirus and global recession might cause over 1.4% of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty.

Malpass said to reverse the setback to development progress and poverty reduction; countries must prepare for a different economy post-COVID by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.

“World Bank Group support – across IBRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA – will help developing countries resume growth and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19 as they work toward a sustainable and inclusive recovery”, he assured.

The report also added that many of the new poor would be in countries with high poverty rates.

It estimated that several middle-income countries would see significant numbers of people (about 82%) slip below the extreme poverty line.

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