The world is unlikely to meet the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, according to a new World Bank study.
The bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity report showed that global progress in reducing extreme poverty has come to a standstill.
“COVID-19 dealt the biggest setback to global poverty-reduction efforts since 1990 and the war in Ukraine threatens to make matters worse,” it said.
The global body estimated that the pandemic dragged nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty in 2020, the biggest one-year hike since global poverty monitoring began in 1990.
“As a result, an estimated 719 million people subsisted on less than $2.15 a day by the end of 2020,” it said.
The report indicates that around 600 million people, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, will still be living on less than $2.15 a day by 2030.
Emphasising that strong fiscal policy measures made a “notable difference” in reducing the impact of the pandemic on poverty, it said in the absence of a fiscal intervention, the average poverty rate in developing economies could be 2.4 points higher.
Commenting on the report, World Bank President David Malpass said: “Progress in reducing extreme poverty has essentially halted in tandem with subdued global economic growth.”
“Adjustments of macroeconomic policies are needed to improve the allocation of global capital, foster currency stability, reduce inflation, and restart growth in median income. The alternative is the status quo – slowing global growth, higher interest rates, greater risk aversion, and fragility in many developing countries,” he added.