Coronavirus Can Push More Than 1 Billion People Into Extreme Poverty, UN Report Finds

The study was jointly made by the UNDP and the Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver

Around 207 million people can be pushed into extreme poverty by the long-term effect of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic taking the total number to over one billion by 2030, a new study by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has found, as per reports.

As per the study that was released on Thursday, such a scenario will mean a protracted recovery from coronavirus, which anticipated that 80 percent of the economic crisis due to the pandemic will be there for over a decade and prevent the pre-pandemic growth trajectory.

However, focused investments for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals can prevent the rise of extreme poverty lifting 146 million people from the grips of it and even cross the development trajectory the world was on ahead of the pandemic, the UNDP mentioned.

COVID-19 and Poverty

Representational Image Pixabay/Jerzy Gorecki

Such kind of ambitions will also narrow the gender poverty gap and decreased the headcount of female poverty even considering the current impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency added. A 'Baseline COVID' scenario, which is based on the present mortality rates and the recent growth projections by the IMF, will result in 44 million people living in extreme poverty by 2030 compared to the trajectory of development the world was on before the pandemic.

Achim Steiner, the Administrator of UNDP, stated that the pandemic is a tipping point and the future is going to depend on the decisions taken today. "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. 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," Steiner stated.

The concerted SDG interventions suggested by the research make a combination of the behavioral changes through the nudges for both the citizens and governments like improved effectiveness and efficiency in governance and changes in the consumption pattern of energy, water, and food.

The interventions also focus on the global collaboration for climate change, investments in the coronavirus recovery, and the necessity for improved broadband access and technology innovation. The research was jointly conducted by the UNDP and the Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver.

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