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COVID-19 To Push More Than 32m Into Extreme Poverty, Says UN …As World Bank Says 150m Will Be Extremely Poor By The End Of 2021

by on December 3, 2020
 

By Seun Adeuyi

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said that the number of people living in extreme poverty will increase by more than 32 million in 2020 due to COVID-19.

The report comes a few days after the World Bank had predicted that the pandemic could push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, wiping out more than three years of progress in poverty reduction.

UNCTAD made this known in a report released on Thursday.

The pandemic has had a catastrophic economic impact on the Least developed countries (LDCs) where the poor have been most affected.

Between Oct. 2019 and Oct. 2020, the economic growth forecast for LDCs was revised sharply downwards from 5 to -0.4 per cent, according to UNCTAD

The report read partly, “This revision is expected to lead to a 2.6 per cent reduction in per capita income in LDCs in 2020, with 43 out of 47 LDCs experiencing a fall in their average income levels.

“This is the worst economic outcome in 30 years for this group of countries, and represents a significant reversal of the economic and social progress achieved in recent years, including in terms of poverty and social outcomes.”

It is also expected that the pandemic will have a dramatic negative impact on global poverty and food insecurity.

The report noted that, “This is equivalent to a rise of over 32 million people living in extreme poverty in the LDCs, and is expected to have the deepest impact on African and island LDCs.”

Similarly, the World Bank says the pandemic could push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, wiping out more than three years of progress in poverty reduction.

This was contained in its flagship biennial report on poverty and shared prosperity, released on Wednesday.

According to the multilateral development lenders, an additional 88 million to 115 million people will fall into extreme poverty. The report said this could grow to 111 million to 150 million by the end of 2021.

In a statement, World Bank President, David Malpass said, “The pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4% of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty. it is a serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction.”

Findings from the National Bureau of Statistics, indicated that total GDP fell 23% during the lockdown in Nigeria. Agri-food system GDP fell 11%, primarily due to restrictions on food services. Household incomes also fell by a quarter, leading a 9% points increase in the national poverty rate. Given the scale of these economic losses, our recovery scenarios indicate that, even with a rapid easing of restrictions and global recovery, Nigeria is unlikely to escape a deep economic recession.

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