An additional 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by the end of next year due to conflict, climate change and COVID-19, the World Bank estimates. Source: The Guardian.
The Washington-based organisation said the proportion of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 a day was expected to rise from 9.1 per cent to 9.4 per cent during 2020, with the increase concentrated in countries with already high poverty rates.
In the absence of the outbreak of coronavirus, the bank said it would have expected the poverty rate to fall below 8 per cent during 2020.
A target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 has been set by the United Nations as one of its sustainable development goals but the World Bank, which lends to developing countries, said there was no chance of this being achieved without swift and significant action. In 10 years’ time, 7 per cent of the world’s population could still be living on less than $1.90 a day, it added.
Global extreme poverty fell by about one percentage point a year from 1990 to 2015 but the rate of progress had already slowed to half a percentage point a year between 2015 and 2017, before Covid-19 sent the process into reverse.
The bank’s biennial poverty and shared prosperity report estimated that during 2020 the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day would rise by between 88 million and 115 million. Depending on the severity of the economic contraction resulting from the virus, the number could reach 150 million by the end of next year.
Further 150m people face extreme poverty by 2022, warns World Bank (By Larry Elliott, The Guardian)