A new study by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has found that an additional 207m people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to the severe long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number of the world’s extremely poor to more than 1bn.
The new study released on 3 December 2020 said investments in welfare programmes, governance and green economy could prevent the rise of extreme poverty and better the world’s pre-pandemic development trajectory.
The study assesses the impact of different COVID-19 recovery scenarios on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), evaluating the multidimensional effects of the pandemic over the next decade.
The study is a part of a long-standing partnership between the UNDP and the Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver.
The study said, “Severe long-term effects of the pandemic could push an additional 207m people into extreme poverty on top of the current pandemic trajectory, bringing the total to over 1bn by 2030.”
The ‘baseline COVID’ scenario, based on current mortality rates and the most recent growth projections by the IMF, would result in 44m more people living in extreme poverty by 2030 compared to the development trajectory the world was on before the pandemic.
Under a ‘high damage’ scenario, where the recovery is protracted, COVID-19 is likely to push an additional 207m people into extreme poverty by 2030 and increase the female poverty headcount by an additional 102m compared to that baseline.
The ‘high damage’ scenario anticipates that 80% of the COVID-19 induced economic crisis would persist in 10 years due to loss in productivity, preventing a full recovery to the growth trajectory seen before the pandemic.
The study also finds that a focused set of SDG investments over the next decade in social protection/welfare programmes, governance, digitalisation and a green economy could not only prevent the rise of extreme poverty but exceed the development trajectory the world was on before the pandemic. A