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Eye-opening revelation by the World Bank on poverty. Read to know more!

By Priti Kumari

WASHINGTON: Pushing 150 million people worldwide to extreme poverty by 2021, COVID-19 is perhaps all set to grip more in its poverty trap if we didn't unravel it soon. As per the World Bank report, the deadly pandemic will create 88mn to 115 mn "new poor", mostly in the middle-income countries. Every 8 out of 10 "new poor" will be the middle-income countries in South Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank reported. According to the Bank, the 'new poor' are the people from urban areas and are relatively well-educated, who will be drained into 'extreme poverty' - defined as the living on less than $1.90 a day.

The World Bank not merely warned about poverty but it also spotlighted the impending unprecedented recession in the world. The advent of COVID-19 led to a paradigm shift in the extreme poverty rate from 7.9% to somewhere between 9.1% and 9.4% in 2020, asserted the World Bank's biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report. In the opinion of David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, "The pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4% of the world's population to fall into extreme poverty." He further affirmed, "To reverse this serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-COVID, by allowing capital, labour, skills, and innovation to move into new business and sectors."

As per the Bank's proclamation, the target of keeping extreme poverty below 3% by 2030 will drastically increase to 7%. Even the Bank predicted a contraction in 'shared prosperity', which the Bank defined as the growth in the poorest 40% of a country's population. With the note of warning, the Bank pledged to provide aid to the lower, middle-income nations.

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