December 01
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Shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine mean the world is unlikely to reach its long-standing goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, according to a new World Bank report.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a historic turning point after decades of poverty reduction: 71 million more people were in extreme poverty in 2020.

That meant that 719 million people - or about 9.3 percent of the world's population - lived on just $2.15 a day, and the ongoing war, slowing growth in China, and higher food and energy prices threaten to further stall efforts to reduce poverty, the report said.

Unless there is dramatic growth, some 574 million people, or about 7 percent of the world's population, will still exist at the same income level by 2030, mostly in Africa.

World Bank President David Malpass said the new report on poverty and shared prosperity shows the grim prospects facing tens of millions of people and calls for major policy changes to boost growth and help intensify efforts to eradicate poverty.

Progress in reducing extreme poverty has essentially stalled in tandem with suppressed global economic growth, he said.

The World Bank said countries should increase cooperation, avoid extensive subsidies, focus on long-term growth, and adopt measures such as property taxes and carbon taxes that can help increase income without hurting the poorest people.

Poverty reduction has already slowed in the five years leading up to the pandemic, and the poorest people have clearly suffered the greatest losses. The poorest 40 percent lost an average of 4 percent of their income during the pandemic, twice as much as the loss of the richest 20 percent.

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