60 million to suffer extreme poverty, world on a brink of deep recession: World Bank president

Mumbai | Updated on May 20, 2020

FILE PHOTO OF World Bank President David Malpass   -  REUTERS

“The coronavirus crisis may push 60 million world citizens on the brink of extreme poverty, obliterating all gains of the past three years,” the head of the World Bank warned on Tuesday.

According to an Agence France Presse(AFP) report, World Bank president David Malpass said that the global lending institution is already financially aiding 100 countries under its commitment to spend $160 billion over the next 15 months.

"That's home to 70 percent of the world's population. This represents a significant milestone," Malpass told a conference call as cited in the AFP report.

Malpass speculated that there the world economy would come down by 5 per cent and the poorest countries will be severely impacted by it.

"Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years, and our forecasts indicate a deep recession," Malpass said.

Nearly five million people have been infected by the virus around the world, and more than 300,000 have died since it first appeared in China in late 2019.

So far, the World Bank has infused $5.5 billion to revive beleaguered health systems, economies, and social services in poor countries.

Malpass also appealed to developed nations to voluntarily extend their support to the World Bank so that it can help poorer countries.

He said restoring the flow of remittance payments and tourism -- key sources of income for developing countries -- would be "critical steps in the reopening."

Malpass mentioned that a year-long moratorium on debt payments by less developed countries -- called for by the G-20 in mid-April -- has gained growing acceptance.

According to Malpass, 14 countries have agreed to such a suspension of debt payments, another 23 are expected to request it, and 17 were giving it serious consideration.

"That's a very welcome and very fast response and positive response to the G-20 countries' commitment," he said.

Published on May 20, 2020

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