Coronavirus Pandemic May Increase Poverty Levels for the First Time Since 1990

Indeed global breakout of deadly Coronavirus will be among the greatest pandemic the World will have experienced in the 21st Century if not the greatest. It’s no longer a question of whether the global economy will plunge but by how much will it.

A confederation of independent charity organizations known as Oxfam has released a study indicating that coronavirus pandemic  might leave around half a billion people around the world in the hands of poverty by the time the crisis is over.

The economic crisis that is rapidly unfolding is deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis. The estimates show that, regardless of the scenario, global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990,” read part of the report.

Additionally, the reports claims some countries could be taken back to poverty levels they lastly experienced 30 years ago.

The study took into consideration all different poverty lines used by the World Bank ranging from extreme poverty which describes any household surviving on less than $1.90 a day. There are multiple thresholds for poverty line some going up to $5.50 a day.

Citing data from the World Bank, nearly around 4 billion households survive on $5.50 or less in a single day.

Living day to day, the poorest people do not have the ability to take time off work, or to stockpile provisions,” said Oxfam who claim women possess a higher risk compared to men since they have a higher possibility of working in the informal sector having minimal or no employment rights at all.

According to a World Bank’s release last week it estimated poverty levels in the Pacific region and East Asia could increase by 11 million people if current corona situation escalates further.

Rich countries have shown that at this time of crisis they can mobilize trillions of dollars to support their own economies. Yet unless developing countries are also able to fight the health and economic impacts the crisis will continue and it will inflict even greater harm on all countries, rich and poor,” said Oxfam.

In order to reverse the situation, Oxfam suggests bailouts and cash grants to the economies to both support individuals and business entities. Debts cancellation is another way which can work out together with the support of both the World Bank and the International Monetary fund (IMF).


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