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Coronavirus: the World Bank warns of the rise in extreme poverty

The World Bank Warns Of The Rise In Extreme Poverty

Up to 150 million people around the world will fall back into extreme poverty with less than $ 1.90 a day to support themselves, according to the World Bank. A scourge that risks endangering democracy in some countries, alerts the multilateral institution.

The goal of eradicating extreme poverty in the world by 2030 is receding. Blame it on the Covid-19 crisis, but also on armed conflicts and climate change. “In an interconnected world, where people are more informed than ever, this pandemic will be more and more a threat for the maintenance of social order and political stability, and even for the defense of democracy,” warned David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, during a speech in Germany , two days before the publication of the annual report of his institution on the poverty in the world.

In this report, released on Wednesday, the World Bank warns that the progress made over the past two decades is threatened. “For the first time in more than twenty years, the global rate of extreme poverty is expected to increase in 2020,” the Bank stresses. In 2020 alone, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to push some 100 million more people into extreme poverty. People living on less than $ 1.90 a day could represent between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world’s population in 2020.

And, in 2021, the figure could increase to 150 million more depending on the severity of the economic recession .

The affected urban populations

“These new poor are more urban, better educated and less likely to work in agriculture than those who lived in extreme poverty before Covid-19,” says the Bank. The problem is that this pandemic constitutes an additional shock for poor countries already plagued by the disastrous effects of armed conflicts and the consequences of climate change. “In the Middle East and North Africa, for example, extreme poverty rates almost doubled between 2015 and 2018, from 3.8% to 7.2%, driven by conflicts in Syria and Yemen. She said. He added that more than 130 million people could sink into poverty by 2030 due to the multiple effects of climate change.

Unpublished since 1870

“The Covid-19 pandemic is not a crisis like any other. People in the poorest countries are likely to suffer the most and for the longest time, ” warned David Malpass. “This pandemic has plunged more economies into a simultaneous recession than at any time since 1870.”

This unprecedented crisis is likely to increase inequalities within countries in the long term and cause significant losses in human capital among the most disadvantaged. Above all, Covid-19 could lead to a wasted decade weighed down by weak growth, a collapse of many health and education systems, and excessive debt.

In the absence of rapid and significant measures, the global poverty rate could therefore reach 7% by 2030, a far cry from the objective of 3% adopted by the United Nations in 2015.