Global poverty is set to rise above 1 billion people once again as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is reducing the income of the world's poorest by $500 million a day, according to new research published Friday. The research by King's College London and the Australian National University points to poverty increasing dramatically in middle-income developing countries, where millions of people live just above the poverty line, the AP reports. Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines, are considered to be particularly vulnerable to the pandemic's economic shockwaves with lockdowns severely curtailing activity.
"The pandemic is fast becoming an economic crisis for developing countries," said Andy Sumner, one of the report's co-authors. Because millions of people live just above the poverty line, they are in a precarious position as the economic shock of the pandemic plays out. In a worst case scenario, the number of people in extreme poverty—defined as earning under $1.90 a day—is forecast to rise from about 700 million to 1.1 billion, according to the report, which was published by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research. "Without action this crisis could set back progress on reducing global poverty by 20 or even 30 years," Sumner said. Researchers are calling for "urgent global leadership" to address the crisis.
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