HEALTH

More than 30 million people will fall into extreme poverty, the United Nations

Andrew Walker, World Service, Economics Representative

 

The United Nations has warned that the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus could reverse the gains made in the past four years.

More than 30 million people are likely to be extremely poor this year, especially in Africa, according to a global UN survey.

According to a United Nations study, rich economies will shrink by as much as 5%, while more poverty is predicted in the developing world.

The report says that in many of these countries, the cost of fighting epidemics and economic measures will be unbearable. It also says that governments in developing countries are spending a growing share of their revenues on interest on loans.

Elliott Harris, the UN’s chief economist and assistant secretary-general for economic development, says the pace and strength of crisis recovery depends not only on the effectiveness of public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus but also on its effectiveness. It also depends on the ability of countries to secure jobs and income, especially for the weaker sections of our society.

A group of prominent politicians, including former US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have called for the cancellation of some of the debts owed by the poorest countries.

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