Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pandemic may have pushed 100 million into extreme poverty: World Bank

Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

The World Bank has warned that the coronavirus pandemic may drive as many as 100 million people back into extreme poverty.

Previously, the international financial institution estimated that 60 million people would fall into extreme poverty due to COVID-19, but the new estimate puts the deterioration at 70 to 100 million.

David R. Malpass, the president of the World Bank told the AFP news agency “that number could go higher” if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens or drags on.

The situation makes it “imperative” that creditors reduce the amount of debt held by poor countries at risk, going beyond the commitment to suspend debt payments, Malpass further said.

The number of people facing acute food insecurity could jump to 265 million, according to a report by the World Food Programme (WFP) released in April 2020.

It said that latest numbers indicate the lives and livelihoods of 265 million people in low and middle-income countries will be under severe threat unless swift action is taken to tackle the pandemic, up from a current 135 million.

More than 22.5 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14.4 million have recovered. More than 790,500 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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