Covid pandemic could push more than a BILLION people worldwide into extreme poverty, UN warns

Another 207 million people could be driven into extreme poverty by the severe long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number to more than one billion by 2030, warns the UN.

According to a new study from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) released this week, a “high-damage” scenario would mean a protracted recovery from the pandemic. The report anticipates that 80 percent of the pandemic-induced economic crisis would persist for over a decade, stalling the pre-pandemic growth trajectory. 

A “baseline Covid” scenario, based on current mortality rates and the most recent growth projections by the International Monetary Fund, would result in 44 million more people living in extreme poverty by 2030, compared to the development trajectory the world was on before the pandemic. 

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“As this new poverty research highlights, the Covid-19 pandemic is a tipping point, and the choices leaders take now could take the world in very different directions,” said the UNDP’s Administrator Achim Steiner. “We have an opportunity to invest in a decade of action that not only helps people recover from Covid-19, but that re-sets the development path of people and planet towards a fairer, resilient and green future.”

The report indicated that focused investments could prevent the rise of extreme poverty, however, lifting 146 million from its grip, and even exceed the development trajectory the world was on before the pandemic.

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