A Unique Opportunity – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Concept note for United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty October 17, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the world during the past year has resulted in over 3.7 million deaths. It is also reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty and extreme poverty. According to the World Bank report on Projected poverty impacts of COVID-19, “…between 71 to 100 million people are being pushed into poverty as a result of the crisis. The majority are in South Asian and Sub-Saharan countries, where poverty rates are already high.”
In 2021, this number is expected to rise to between 143 and 163 million. These ‘new poor’ will join the ranks of the 1.3 billion people already living in multidimensional and persistent poverty who saw their pre-existing deprivations aggravated during the global pandemic. In fact, the impact of COVID-19 has been the hardest on the people who – for generations – have lacked equal access to public goods and services, quality healthcare systems and strong social protection, making it harder to cope with any shocks. In addition, the measures imposed to limit the spread of the pandemic often pushed them further into poverty. The informal economy that enables many people in poverty to survive was virtually shut down in many countries.