BETWEEN 1980 and 2016, the average income of the bottom 50 percent of earners nearly doubled, as the group posted 12 percent of growth in global GDP.

The number of those living on less than $1.90 a day, the World Bank's threshold for extreme poverty, dropped by more than half since the 1990 from nearly 2 billion people to around 700 million.

Never before in human history have so many people been lifted out of poverty so quickly. However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything for the worse.

Up to 250 million jobs are likely to be lost globally besides pushing between 40 million to 60 million people into extreme poverty.

The charity group Oxfam has warned that a recession caused by Covid-19 could push half a billion people into poverty unless urgent action is taken.

CONDUCTED by King's College London and Australian National University, the research gauged the short-term impacts of containing the coronavirus on global monetary poverty based on World Bank poverty lines of $1.90, $3.20 and $5.50 a day.

NOW casting global poverty is not an easy task.

It requires assumption about how to forecast growth and how such growth will impact the poor, along with other complications such as how to calculate poverty for countries with outdated data or without or without data altogether.

All of this goes to show that estimating how much global poverty will increase because of Covid-19 is challenging and comes with a lot of uncertainty.

GLOBAL POVERTY levels would increase under three scenarios for the first time since 1990 according to the analysis with up to decade of progress lost globally.

The impact is set to be even worse in some parts of the world such as North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East where up to 30 years of progress could be wiped.

''THE DEVASTATING economic fallout of the pandemic is already being felt across the globe.

However, poor people in the poorest countries are already struggling to survive as there are no safety nets to stop them falling into abject poverty.

This is the time G20 countries, the IMF and the World Bank gave developing countries cash injections to help the poor and vulnerable communities.

They must cancel all debt-payments for 2020 for these countries and and encourage other creditors to do the same, besides issuing at least $1 trillion of ''Special Drawing Rights'' to keep those societies afloat.

The World Students Society thanks author, Syed Tahir Rashidi.


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