COVID-19: World Bank to assist developing countries resume growth

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By Temitope Ponle

Abuja, Oct. 7, 2020 The World Bank Group has said that it will help developing countries resume growth and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.

President of the bank, Mr David Malpass, in a statement on Wednesday, said it would assist the countries as they worked toward a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

Malpass, however, said 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 economy post-COVID, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.

“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 of 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 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 slip below the extreme poverty line.

“About 82 per cent of the total will be in middle-income countries”, the report estimates.

The report called for collective action to ensure that years of progress in poverty reduction were not erased.

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