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Numbers living in extreme poverty expected to rise by 150 million due to COVID-19

A person is defined to be living in extreme poverty if they are living on less than $1.90 a day.

A new report from the World Bank, which provides funding and training to developing countries, has said that they estimate that the economic contractions caused by COVID-19 will cause the number of people living in extreme poverty to increase by 150 million by 2021. This marks the end of a trend which has seen global extreme poverty falling year-on-year for the last 20 years, with over a billion people rising out of extreme poverty since 1990.

The new report, Reversals of Fortune: Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020, says that “The human cost of COVID-19 is immense, with hundreds of millions of people in the developing world reversing back into poverty.”

David Malpass, World Bank Group President, said that “In order 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, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.”

The World Bank says that, had COVID-19 not appeared, they had expected the global poverty rate to fall to 7.9% of the world population; they now say they expect the rate to increase to somewhere between 9.1% and 9.4% in 2020, with further rises possible in 2021.

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