Saturday, 30 May, 2020

COVID-19 crisis could push over 60 million people into extreme poverty

World Bank head praises G20 over debt moratorium World Bank extends support to 100 countries
Deanna Wagner | 23 May, 2020, 06:27

On announcing this figures to the general public, the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, informed the worldwide community that the progress made in the last three years in the poverty alleviation will be erased by the COVID-19 crisis.

However, Malpass said that the World Bank's efforts alone were insufficient, urging donor nations to step up bilateral aid to poorer countries to ensure a durable recovery. Thirty-nine of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa while more than one-third are "in fragile and conflict-affected situations, such as Afghanistan, Chad, Haiti, and Niger". To this, the WB has proposed to help the developing countries by providing them with the rapid and flexible responses, through rapid cash and other expandable support on debt, to maintain the private sector, and to bolster the economic recovery in these regions.

"This represents a significant milestone in the World Bank Group's effort to deploy United States dollars 160 billion over a 15-month period". Overall he promised at least $ 160 billion to fight the virus so far.

Malpass said that the programs are tailored to the countries to effectively respond to the health, economic and social shocks that that country are facing. Malpos said that this program would strengthen the health system and help in the purchase of life-saving medical equipment.

The Bank Group's support through grants, loans and equity investments will be supplemented by the suspension of bilateral debt service, as endorsed by the Bank's governors.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka passes Serena Williams as top-earning female athlete
Sharapova held the honor the previous five years, earning at least $24.4 million in each year from 2011 to 2015. Osaka is No 29 overall, with Williams at No 33, on Forbes' annual list of the 100 top-earning athletes.

"We can not afford to stand idly by and hope this most viral and deadly of diseases bypasses Africa, which is home to numerous world's poorest countries who are simply not in position to handle such a pandemic", UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and also Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and also Peoples' Rights Solomon Dersso stated in a joint declaration.

"The bilateral debt-service suspension being offered will free up crucial resources for IDA countries to fund emergency responses to COVID-19", Malpass said.

In conclusion, the WB Group has called on the International Development Association (IDA) countries to act quickly on the advantages of the programs designed and to have full transparency on their debt and investment activities by their respective governments.

Almost five million people have been infected by the virus around the world, and more than 300,000 have died since it first appeared in China in late 2019. As of May 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM IST, the outbreak has led to around 3,23,413 deaths and infected 49,01,773 according to John Hopkins University. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.

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