According to a new report, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction.
Extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, is likely to affect between 9.1 percent and 9.4 percent of the world’s population this year, it said. That would represent a regression to the rate of 9.2 percent in 2017. Had the pandemic not convulsed the globe, the poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9 percent in 2020.
“The pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4 percent of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “In order to reverse this serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-Covid, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.”
The World Bank estimates that by 2030, the global poverty rate could be about seven percent.
While less than a tenth of the world’s population lives on less than $1.90 a day, close to a quarter of the population lives on less than $3.20 a day, and more than 40 percent of the world’s population (almost 3.3 billion people) live on less than $5.50 a day.
“The current moment of crisis is extraordinary. No prior disease has become a global threat so quickly as Covid-19. Never have the world’s poorest people resided so disproportionately in conflict-affected territories and countries. Changes in global weather patterns induced by human activity are unprecedented,” said the report.
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