The coronavirus pandemic has pushed up to 114 million people around the world into extreme poverty, marking the largest increase since 1990, a new World Bank report shows.
The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 a day, or roughly $700 annually.
“This is the worst setback that we’ve witnessed in a generation,” said Carolina Sánchez-Páramo, global director of the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Now, between 703 million and 729 million people globally live in extreme poverty, with the potential for that number to grow even higher next year.
“The new poor are more urban, better educated and less likely to work in agriculture than those living in extreme poverty before Covid-19,” the World Bank reported.
Due to the poverty surge, the Sustainable Development Goals will likely fall short of its goal to eliminate poverty by 2030. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the goal was seen as ambitious.
“The convergence of the Covid-19 pandemic with the pressures of conflict and climate change will put the goal of ending poverty by 2030 beyond reach without swift, significant and substantial policy action,” the World Bank reported.
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