World Bank: Coronavirus crisis could push 60 million people into “extreme poverty”

World Bank: Coronavirus crisis could push 60 million people into "extreme poverty"

The warning suggests growing pessimism among economists about the extent and duration of the fallout from what the bank has described as an “unprecedented crisis.”

The World Bank, which provides loans and grants to governments in poor countries, predicted a month ago, this year would mark a historic decline for inequality, with the pandemic “likely to cause the first increase in poverty in the world since 1998”.
He said in a blog post on April 20 that his “best estimate ” was that 49 million people would be forced to live in extreme poverty, which the bank defined as having to live on less than $ 1.90 a day.

The worsening outlook is due to the surge in the closure of economic activity and “the erasure of much of the recent progress made in the fight against poverty,” said the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, in a press release.

A recent outbreak of cases in some countries is also forcing the bank to deploy what it considers to be its “biggest and fastest response to the crisis” ever made. He said his emergency relief efforts have already reached 100 developing countries, which are home to 70% of the world’s population.

The World Bank aims to help vulnerable communities by granting loans and loans to individuals and businesses, as well as by suspending the payment of the debt of some of the poorest countries in the world. Overall he promised at least $ 160 billion to fight the virus so far.

Some of the world’s poorest people are already starting to feel pain.

Migrant workers around the world have lost their jobs as the pandemic stops working in various industries. As a result, the World Bank estimates that global remittances or money sent to families, could fall 20%, or about $ 100 billion, this year.
& # 39; I can't send money home: how a lifeline for the world's poorest is cut due to Covid-19

Tens of millions of people in Africa could become destitute because of the crisis, warned human rights leaders on Wednesday.

“We cannot afford to sit idly by and hope that this most viral and deadly disease bypasses Africa, home to many of the world’s poorest countries who simply are not able to cope with such a pandemic, “said the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle. Bachelet and the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Solomon Dersso, said in a joint statement.

Country & # 39; huge piles of debt turn into disaster
The World Bank said last month that it expects people in sub-Saharan Africa to suffer the most. Currently, 39 of the World Bank’s 100 target countries are there, and at least 23 million people in the region are projected head to the extreme poverty due to the coronavirus epidemic.
South Asia is also expected to suffer. In addition to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, World Bank economists said last month that India, one of the most populous countries in the world, has been estimated to see “the biggest change in the number of poor”, with about 12 million people affected.
“The places where the virus kills the most depend mainly on two factors,” the bank’s analysts said in a statement. blog post. “The impact of the virus on economic activity and … the number of people living near the international poverty line.”

– CNN’s Sarah Dean contributed to this report.


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