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Coronavirus crisis could plunge half a billion people into poverty - Oxfam

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Coronavirus crisis could plunge half a billion people into poverty - Oxfam

By Karin Strohecker

 

2020-04-09T001144Z_1_LYNXNPEG3800C_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-SOUTHASIA.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Migrants workers rest inside a workshop after it was shut due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Prashant Waydande

 

LONDON (Reuters) - The fallout from the coronavirus spread that has killed more than 83,000 people and wreaked havoc on economies around the world could push around half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam said on Thursday.

 

The report released by the Nairobi-based charity ahead of next week's International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meeting calculated the impact of the crisis on global poverty due to shrinking household incomes or consumption.

 

"The economic crisis that is rapidly unfolding is deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis," the report found.

 

"The estimates show that, regardless of the scenario, global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990," it said, adding that this could throw some countries back to poverty levels last seen some three decades ago.

 

The report authors played through a number of scenarios, taking into account the World Bank's various poverty lines - from extreme poverty, defined as living on $1.90 a day or less, to higher poverty lines of living on less than $5.50 a day.

 

Under the most serious scenario - a 20% contraction in income - the number of people living in extreme poverty would rise by 434 million people to 922 million worldwide. The same scenario would see the number of people living below the $5.50 a day threshold rise by 548 million people to nearly 4 billion.

 

Women are at more risk than men, as they are more likely to work in the informal economy with little or no employment rights.

 

"Living day to day, the poorest people do not have the ability to take time off work, or to stockpile provisions," the report warned, adding that more than 2 billion informal sector workers worldwide had no access to sick pay.

 

The World Bank last week said poverty in East Asia and the Pacific region alone could increase by 11 million people if conditions worsened.

 

To help mitigate the impact, Oxfam proposed a six point action plan that would deliver cash grants and bailouts to people and businesses in need, and also called for debt cancellation, more IMF support, and increased aid. Taxing wealth, extraordinary profits, and speculative financial products would help raise the funds needed, Oxfam added.

 

Calls for debt relief have increased in recent weeks as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has roiled developing nations around the world.

In total, governments around the world would need to mobilise at least $2.5 trillion to support developing nations.

 

"Rich countries have shown that at this time of crisis they can mobilize trillions of dollars to support their own economies," the report said.

 

"Yet unless developing countries are also able to fight the health and economic impacts the crisis will continue and it will inflict even greater harm on all countries, rich and poor."

 

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-09
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It’s understandable, poor people always suffer the most, it has no effect to the rich except may be endanger their health.

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

In total, governments around the world would need to mobilise at least $2.5 trillion to support developing nations.

Hmmmm. Countries like NZ will be in recession or even depression. Government is borrowing multi millions. Where is the money to help other nations going to come from? Borrow more money that the grandchildren of today's people will still be paying back?

 

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

Under the most serious scenario - a 20% contraction in income

Ya reckon? IMO be much more severe than that in some countries. Tourism is going to be stuffed for a very long time and that employs millions directly and indirectly.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, timendres said:

Assuming what appears to be numbers approaching a 1% death rate, with 7B people in the world, the absolute worst case is 70M dead - with a good percentage of those being people who are very old and sick to begin with.

 

The price of avoiding this worst case scenario is:

 

Of course, my analysis does fall down in the sense that, assuming we were to let the virus spread unchecked, the death rate would probably end up higher than 1%, as the medical system began to collapse under the load, and was unable to support as many people as it does now. But the question remains the same - at what cost do we attempt to limit the spread of this (or any other) virus with the measures being used today?

Interesting note but there is a middle line:
 - Give priority to health for a limited time to allow scientists to determine the best detection tests and treatments.
 - Then, in the second phase (which seems fairly close) to liberate the economy, detect and treat essentially the contaminated people.

 

As a hopeful optimist, I believe this is the path that will be chosen.

Edited by Victornoir
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Governments world-wide are truly about to feel the wrath of WE THE PEOPLE!! It's time to say, enough is enough!!!

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The French people were brave enough of taking back control from their abusers. Why this is not happening around the world already?

 

Why the Russians have not already taken control of Kremlin? 

 

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4 minutes ago, Tounge Thaied said:

Governments world-wide are truly about to feel the wrath of WE THE PEOPLE!! It's time to say, enough is enough!!!

Not a good time for large street protests. Perhaps a hashtag is in order? I hear those really work.

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1 minute ago, Jingthing said:

Not a good time for large street protests. Perhaps a hashtag is in order? I hear those really work.

It only takes each of us, in our own current actionable ways to say NO. To say enough... we don't have to march in the streets. 

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1 minute ago, Tounge Thaied said:

It only takes each of us, in our own current actionable ways to say NO. To say enough... we don't have to march in the streets. 

Screaming at our televisions in our isolation units? I know the feeling. 

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