The World Bank Group says it will help developing countries to restart growth and respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The President of World Bank, Mr David Malpass, said in a statement on Wednesday that the bank would assist the countries as they strove to attain sustainable and inclusive recovery.
He, however, said that the pandemic and global recession might cause over 1.4 per cent of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty.
“In order to reverse this serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different post-COVID-19 economy, by allowing capital, labour, skills and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.
“The World Bank Group support — across IBRD, BRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA — will help developing countries resume growth and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19, as they work toward a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”
The bank also predicted that global extreme poverty was expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years, due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
It noted that the pandemic was estimated to force an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021.
According to the World Bank’s biennial report, extreme poverty is likely to affect between 9.1 per cent and 9.4 per cent of the world’s population in 2020.
The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report defined extreme poverty as living on less than 1.90 dollars a day.
The report also indicates that many of the new poor will be in countries that already have high poverty rates.
It also stated that a number of middle-income countries would see significant numbers of people slipping below the extreme poverty line.
“About 82 per cent of the total will be in middle-income countries,” the report said.
The report, nonetheless, called for collective action to ensure that years of progress in poverty reduction were not erased.