In this file photo from Friday, July 10, 2020, medical personnel in protective clothing arrive to examine people who may have symptoms of COVID-19 in a poor neighborhood in Mumbai, India. (The Associated Press)
Johannesburg – Up to 150 million people could fall into extreme poverty next year – a category in which those affected survive on less than $ 1.9 a day – depending on the extent of the contraction of economies during the COVID pandemic -19 , the World Bank said Wednesday.
Middle-income countries are projected to accumulate 82% of new people in extreme poverty, such as India, Nigeria and Indonesia. Many of those affected will be more educated urban dwellers, which means that cities will have an increase in the type of poverty typically rooted in rural areas.
The majority of the extreme new poor, more than 110 million according to even the World Bank baseline projection, will be in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The pandemic has abruptly stopped years of progress against global extreme poverty, which is projected to increase in 2020 for the first time in more than two decades. It also threatens to exacerbate global inequality and will “make it more difficult for countries to return to inclusive growth,” said World Bank President David Malpass.
Global economic growth will fall 5.2% this year, more than in the last eight decades, according to forecasts.
Nearly a quarter of the world's population lives on less than $ 3.20 a day, a huge number of people vulnerable to the kinds of economic upheavals that have come in waves this year. Unemployment is on the rise and those who had savings see how they run out. Families are eating less. Many children, who represent half of the world's poor, do not have access to distance education.
“Many of the new poor are likely to be in the informal economy, construction and manufacturing, the sectors whose economic activities are among the hardest hit by lockdown measures and other mobility restrictions,” said the report, citing telephone surveys. in countries around the world.