World Bank report - Reversals of Fortune


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World Bank report conveys a gloomy picture of poverty reduction​​

October 2020 / Selina BezzolaJunior Programme Officer, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

The World Bank has recently published its new Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020, a biennial report analyzing progress in the fight against extreme poverty and the creation of shared prosperity (the two overarching twin goals of the World Bank). The latest report focuses mainly on the severe effects and setbacks caused by the COVID crisis. 

The new report shows that COVID has become a real stress test for the progress made so far under the Agenda 2030. The severe effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, amplified by the effects of armed conflict and climate change, are pushing between 88 and 115 million people back into extreme poverty this year alone. For the first time since 1998, global extreme poverty rate will increase to 9.1 - 9.4 percent in 2020. Swift, significant, and sustained action is required to achieve to goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. 

The central pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind calls for increased global action in a​reas where extreme poverty is highly concentrated, such as in SSA, but also in areas where large segments of the population have only narrowly escaped extreme poverty in previous years and are hence at risk of falling back and being left behind. The current challenges accentuate the importance of disaggregated data to better understand and address issues faced by people left behind or at risk of being left behind. 

In order to face the challenges of all forms of poverty, effective implementation of inclusive policies is needed. In that sense, social protection is and will be an important response mechanism to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can help to mitigate some consequences of the crisis, to provide vital support to and strengthen resilience of the most vulnerable.

Read the full report here​»