COVID-19: World Bank predicts extra 23m people into poverty in Africa

The World Bank estimates that the coronavirus pandemic will push 23 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa into extreme poverty.

This will mean they will live on less than US$1.90 (GHS11, 2 pesewas) per day in 2020.

Accordingly, countries with the largest change in the number of poor include Nigeria (5 million), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2 milion) and South Africa (1 million) are expected to witness increased number of extreme poor people.

But across the region, overall poverty is likely to rise given that low-income workers are more likely to lose their jobs as a result of Covid-19.

Fitch Solutions said rising unemployment and higher food prices driven by the pandemic will feed into other drivers of protests, such as high youth unemployment and corruption.

While the pandemic has temporarily placed a lid on these tensions, they are likely to re-emerge and intensify once lockdown measures are lifted, it added.

Meanwhile, Sub-Saharan African growth will average about 3.2% over the next decade, compared with an average of 4.0% over 2010- 2019, with a range of global and domestic factors weighing on growth.


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