Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Oxfam has reportedly warned that half a billion people could be pushed into poverty. According to a report that was recently released by the Nairobi-based charity, the impact of the crisis can have dire consequences on global poverty levels due to shrinking household incomes and consumption.
As per the report, the economic fallout from the coronavirus could be worse than the 2008 global financial crisis. The report indicates that the global poverty level could go up for the first time since 1990. The report also added that the crisis could send some vulnerable countries three decades back.
According to the report, in the most serious scenario, the number of people living in poverty (living on less than $5.50 a day) could rise by 434 million people to 922 million worldwide. The report also indicated that women were more at risk than men because they were more likely to work in the informal sector which has little to no employment rights.
According to reports, the World Bank on March 30 warned that due to the impact of the coronavirus, China’s growth could come to a standstill and also drive 11 million people in East Asia into abject poverty.
As per reports, Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific claimed that the virus had caused an unprecedented shock and this could bring growth to a screeching halt and as a result increase rate of poverty and unemployment across the region. As per the organisation's report, the region will see a sharp drop in growth and China’s growth is reportedly expected to fall down to 2.3 per cent from 6.1 per cent in 2019.
Due to the coronavirus, millions of people are in some form of lockdown in an effort to try and contain the spread of the deadly virus. According to reports, manufacturing activity and industrial production in China reduced for the first time in 30 years. According to the World Bank report, even in the best-case scenario of a strong recovery after a sharp slowdown can result in almost 24 million fewer people in the region escaping poverty. In the worst-case scenario, 11 million people could now descend into poverty if the slowdown is followed by a sluggish recovery.
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