According to a warning issued by Oxfam, up to half a billion people all across the world could be pushed into the poverty because of the economic fallout from coronavirus pandemic that is raving the world.
If the warning of the charity turns out to be true, it will be the first time that global poverty will be increasing in more than 30 years, said Oxfam whose report was based on research done by the Australian National University (ANU) and Kings College, London.
“The economic crisis is potentially going to be even more severe than the health crisis,” said the report. The report estimated that globally, there will be an increase of between 400 and 600 million people below the general poverty line.
The warning and the findings were released by the charity before a crucial meeting next week of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and G20 finance ministers.
Additionally, a real challenge to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030 is posed by the potential impact of the corovirus pandemic, the report says.
“Our findings point towards the importance of a dramatic expansion of social safety nets in developing countries as soon as possible and – more broadly – much greater attention to the impact of Covid in developing countries and what the international community can do to help,” said Professor Andy Sumner of King’s College London.
About half of the world’s population of 7.8 billion people could be living in poverty by the time the coronavirus pandemic gets over. The report estimates that about 40 per cent of the people who would be pushed into poverty will be found in countries in East Asia and the Pacific while about one third of them will be accounted for by the countries in both Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
“For billions of workers in poor countries who were already scraping by, there are no safety nets such as sick pay or government assistance. Next week’s World Bank and G20 meetings are an important opportunity for world leaders to collaborate on a joint economic rescue package to protect the most vulnerable people,” said Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB’s chief executive.
A call to richer countries a, central banks and private lenders to waive debt payments was given by more than 100 global organizations earlier this week, because of the economic fall out of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the call, such as action would free up $25bn in cash to support the economies and health systems of the poorer countries.
(Adapted from BBC.com)