Covid-19 will push over 71 mn people into extreme poverty: UN Report

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New Delhi (NVI): An estimated 71 million people will be living in extreme poverty in 2020 due to Covid-19 with unemployment, rising prices and lack of social protection leaving those previously secure at additional risk, according to a new UN report.

According to the Sustainable Development Goal Report 2020, southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to see the largest increases in extreme poverty, with an additional 32 million and 26 million people, respectively, living below the international poverty line as a result of the pandemic.

“Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to see the largest increases in extreme poverty, with an additional 32 million and 26 million people, respectively, living below the international poverty line as a result of the pandemic,” it said.

As per the report, the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty declined from 15.7 per cent in 2010 to 10.0 per cent in 2015. “However, the pace of global poverty reduction has been decelerating. Nowcast estimates put the global poverty rate in 2019 at 8.2 per cent,” the report says.

Even before COVID-19, baseline projections suggested that 6 per cent of the global population would still be living in extreme poverty in 2030, missing the target of ending poverty, it said.

Assuming the pandemic remains at levels currently expected and that activity recovers later this year, the poverty rate is projected to reach 8.8 per cent in 2020. “This is the first rise in global poverty since 1998, and close to the 2017 level,” says the report.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 presents an overview of progress towards the SDGs before the pandemic started, but it also looks at some of the devastating initial impacts of COVID-19 on specific Goals and targets. The report was prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with over 200 experts from more than 40 international agencies, using the latest available data and estimates

-ARK