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Children carrying vegetables walk past a make-shift house in Harare, Zimbabwe (CNS/Philimon Bulawayo, Reuters)

COVID-19 has dealt the “biggest setback” to global poverty reduction efforts in decades, and the World Bank has warned that the goal to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 likely remains out of reach. Source: SBS News.

The bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report, released this week, showed poverty rose sharply during the pandemic. The development lender estimates about 70 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 – the biggest one-year spike since monitoring began in 1990.

The report offers the first tally of those struggling to live on less than $3.30 a day, the new global definition of extreme poverty, but follows many warnings from the global development lender that poorer nations are being left behind.

Earlier this year the institution warned that as many 95 million people would fall back into extreme poverty by the end of this year.

War in Ukraine, rising inflation and slowing global growth have put further pressure on the bank’s mission to lift people out of poverty.

“Inflation, currency depreciations, and broader overlapping crises” point to a grim outlook, World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement.

“Progress in reducing extreme poverty has essentially halted in tandem with subdued global economic growth,” he said.

Global extreme poverty had fallen to 8.4 percent by 2019 from 38 per cent in 1990, but the pandemic triggered the first rise in more than two decades.


World Bank says goal to eradicate global poverty by 2030 no longer likely (SBS News)