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UN warns of worsening poverty

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According to UN experts, the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic could plunge another 395 million people into extreme poverty. The total number of people living on less than $ 1.90 a day worldwide could thus rise to more than one billion, according to a study published by the United Nations University today.

The prospects for the world’s poorest are bleak if governments don’t do more quickly, said Andy Sumner, one of the study authors. „Progress in poverty reduction could be set back by 20 to 30 years.“

Experts went through various scenarios

The study by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) went through a number of scenarios, taking into account the various poverty lines of the World Bank – extreme poverty, defined as living expenses of up to $ 1.90 a day, to higher poverty lines of less than $ 5.50 a day.

Under the worst scenario – a 20 percent drop in per capita income or consumption – the number of people living in extreme poverty could rise to 1.12 billion.

The same decline calculated for the $ 5.50 threshold could result in more than 3.7 billion people living below this poverty line – around half the world’s population. The World Bank said on Monday that it expected 70 to 100 million people to experience extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic.