Coronavirus crisis could put 395 million more people under extreme poverty
According to the researchers, developing countries in South Asia -- mainly India -- and East Asia will be the worst impacted.
Aroound 395 million people from across the globe could fall under extreme poverty due to the economic fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the total number of poor living on less than $1.90 a day to more than 1 billion, says a new study.
According to the study by researchers from King’s College London and Australian National University with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), developing countries in South Asia -- mainly India -- and East Asia will be the worst impacted. This was followed by Sub-Saharan Africa where around a third of the rise would come from.
"The COVID-19 crisis could take extreme poverty back over 1 billion people. This is because millions of people live just above poverty. Millions of people live in a precarious position one shock away from poverty. And the current crisis could be that shock that pushes them into poverty," said Andy Sumner, one of the report's authors.
The researchers played through a number of scenarios, taking into account the World Bank’s various poverty lines - from extreme poverty, defined as living on $1.90 a day or less, to higher poverty lines of living on less than $5.50 a day.
Under the worst scenario - a 20% contraction in per capita income or consumption - the number of those living in extreme poverty could rise to 1.12 billion. The same contraction applied to the $5.50 threshold among upper-middle income countries could see more than 3.7 billion people - or just over half the world's population - live below this poverty line.
"The outlook for the world’s poorest looks grim unless governments do more and do it quickly and make up the daily loss of income the poor face," said Sumner.
"The result is progress on poverty reduction could be set back 20-30 years and making the UN goal of ending poverty look like a pipe dream."
On Monday, the World Bank said it expected 70-100 million people to be pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic.