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David Malpass
World Bank Group President David Malpass during a joint press conference with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on the recent developments of the coronavirus, COVID-19, and the organizations' responses on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. It was announced yesterday that the Annual Spring Meetings held by the IMF and World Bank in Washington, DC have been changed to virtual meetings due to concerns about COVID-19. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
COVID-19Finance

World Bank: Coronavirus Pandemic May Push 60 Million Into “Extreme Poverty”

2 Mins read
  • President David Malpass calls for more help to alleviate the impact on ‘millions of livelihoods’
  • David Malpass says developing countries’ recoveries depend on reopening of advanced economies

The head of the World Bank warned Tuesday in a statement that the coronavirus crisis threatens to push some 60 million people into extreme poverty, wiping out the gains made over the past three years.

The global lending institution is already financing aid programs in 100 countries, under its commitment to spend $160 billion over the next 15 months, bank president David Malpass said

“That’s home to 70 percent of the world’s population. This represents a significant milestone,” Malpass told a conference call.

Malpass said the bank anticipates a five percent contraction in the world economy this year, with severe effects on the poorest countries.

“Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years, and our forecasts indicate a deep recession,”

Malpass said.

The pandemic will erase all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past 3 years, World Bank saidWashington: 

The head of the World Bank warned Tuesday that the coronavirus crisis threatens to push some 60 million people into extreme poverty, wiping out the gains made over the past three years.

The global lending institution is already financing aid programs in 100 countries, under its commitment to spend $160 billion over the next 15 months, bank president David Malpass said.

“That’s home to 70 percent of the world’s population. This represents a significant milestone,” Malpass told a conference call.

Malpass said the bank anticipates a five percent contraction in the world economy this year, with severe effects on the poorest countries.

“Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years, and our forecasts indicate a deep recession,” Malpass said.

Nearly five million people have been infected by the virus around the world, and more than 300,000 have died since it first appeared in China in late 2019

Key Facts

  • In 2015, there were 734 million people or 10% of the world’s population in extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank’s most recent estimates.
  • Previously estimating 49 million would be pushed into extreme poverty, the World Bank points to the pressure on healthcare systems as well as the impacts on both developing and advanced economic systems as factors for the increase.
  • “The health and economic impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic and shut down have inflicted on developing countries are severe,” World Bank President David Malpass said on a media call.
  • Malpas also shared the group is predicting a “deep recession” with the world economy falling 5%.
  • The World Bank is financing emergency programs in 100 countries representing 70% of the population, part of an initiative to spend $160 billion over 15 months to assist countries’ healthcare, economic systems and social protection programs.
  • Thirty-nine of the 100 counties are in sub-saharan Africa, while nearly a third are in conflict areas like Afghanistan and Haiti.

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