The World Bank found that 97 million people worldwide fell into poverty as a direct impact of the 2020 pandemic, and many live on only $2 per day. The World Bank defines COVID-induced poverty as “poverty calculated as the difference in poverty in a world with and without the pandemic.”
The World Bank estimates that extreme poverty will decline 2.9% in 2021, which is almost identical to annual declines in poverty recorded before the pandemic. However, the organization admitted that lockdown measures, rather than the actual coronavirus, are to blame for financially decimating 97 million people:
“When the pandemic broke out, many developing countries responded in ways similar to high-income countries; by locking down major parts of their economy. These lockdowns decreased incomes and employment, causing an increase in extreme poverty. In 2021, the appetite for lockdowns has been smaller. This may have limited the economic consequences at the cost of increased COVID cases and COVID-related deaths.”
Unfortunately, the appetite for lockdowns has continued into 2021 in many parts of the world. Now, the damage caused by ongoing lockdowns cannot be undone.