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World

COVID-19 could push one billion people into extreme poverty by 2030, UN warns

  • UN study suggests that the phenomenon can only be avoided by taking timely measures like investing in public health, social and safety net programmes and green transition
04 Dec 2020

(Karachi) In a startling revelation, United Nations (UN) stated that the coronavirus pandemic could push one billion more people into extreme poverty over the next decade. The UN, however, suggested that the phenomenon can only be avoided by taking timely measures like investing in public health, social and safety net programmes and green transition.

A new study by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stated that the COVID-19 pandemic will have severe long-term effects and will push an additional 207 million people into extreme poverty over the next decade.

Deadly global impacts

The findings transpired that under the ‘Baseline’ scenario, based on current mortality rates and growth projections, 44 million more people will likely be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030.

In a ‘High Damage’ scenario, the UN stated that 80 percent of economic productivity losses remain after 10 years — 207 million additional people are projected to be living in poverty, bringing the total to 1 billion by the end of the decade.

Additionally, the study warns the ‘High Damage’ scenario would see 37 million more people likely to become malnourished over the coming decade, including 4 million children under the age of five.

Similarly, secondary school graduation rates could fall to 64 percent worldwide if urgent actions are not taken, the study mentioned.

Real challenge to SDG

The report also finds that many of the new poor will be in countries that already have high poverty rates. A number of middle-income countries will see significant numbers of people slip below the extreme poverty line.

Researchers warned that the coronavirus could therefore pose a real challenge to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending poverty by 2030.

It called the global community to invest in SDG in the fields of social protection as well as digital and green economic development to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

The report highlighted that by taking such steps about 128 million adults and 16 million children are likely to escape malnutrition by 2030 while the proportion of children graduating from upper secondary school rises from the estimated 66 percent to 70 percent.