Poverty Rates Escalate, Warns UNBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:34
Poverty is one of the main issues heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to its latest report, the UN forecasts that 130 million people will fall into extreme poverty by the end of 2020, which will increase the global poverty rate for the first time in 22 years.
In 2018, the rate of people suffering from extreme poverty was 8.6 percent. By the end of this year, the number will increase to 8.8 percent with a dire forecast for the following years. "The virus has benefited from the interconnections and fragilities derived from globalization, turning a sanitary crisis into a global economic commotion that has struck especially the most vulnerable," said Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD’s General Secretary, during the presentation of the report, according to a Forbes article.
Countries in Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America will be among the most affected. Rising poverty numbers will also set global efforts back following an ongoing improvement since 1990 when the poverty rate was 35.9 percent, stated Forbes. The UN explained that a key factor in all of this is the disparity in governments’ responses to face the crisis. While some invested in fiscal stimuli and recovery measures, others did not consider this a priority.
A previous MBN article highlights Mexico's unfavorable situation. Associations like the Citizen Front Against Poverty have been warning about the risks that the country could face if no plan or resources are destined to economic recovery. According to the association, the government's current policies, the lack of recovery programs and COVID-19 are the main reasons why Mexico's poverty rates keep climbing.
In the Americas and the Caribbean, 3.58 million people will fall into extreme poverty, the UN estimates. MBN also reported on the benefits that closing the gender gap could bring to the region. Even though poverty has multiple roots, by incorporating and giving women work opportunities, more than 100 million women could have a chance out of poverty. Meanwhile, the Word Economic Forum’s Chief Economists Outlook states countries like Mexico require recovery strategies that "set the economy on a new trajectory of more inclusive and sustainable growth," reports MBN.