COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS PUSHED 115 MILLION PEOPLE INTO ABJECT POVERTY – WORLD BANK
The World Bank has said the Coronavirus Pandemic has pushed about 115 million people into abject poverty.
It said that for the first time in over two decades, millions of people all over the world are expected to go poor due to the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank, in a statement by its President, David Malpasss, late on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, said the pandemic adds to conflict, political instability, famine, and climate change which were already affecting the global economy.
Malpass, who estimated that an additional 88 million to 115 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, stated that the number may rise to 150 million by 2021, depending on the gravity of the economic decline.
According to the Biennal Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, the economic decline caused by the pandemic is going to affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world’s population this year.
It is imperative to mention that the poverty rate of the world was 9.2% in 2017, and 7.9% before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease a pandemic on March 19, 2020.
The World Bank’s President noted that to reverse the economic complications from COVID-19, countries must develop a structure that prepares them for a different economy when the pandemic is over 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 said.
He estimated that a number of middle-income countries will see significant numbers of people slip below the extreme poverty line.
Recall that on June 10, 2020, the World Bank said the number of people living in abject poverty is expected to remain constant this year, and persist in 2021, due to the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Washington-based organization had said that the pandemic could drive between 70 and 100 million into abject poverty as the global economy faces its worst recession in 80 years.