AGENCIES, Washington: After the UN released its report about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economically weaker countries, Washington-based based global lender, The World Bank said in a report released on Monday that prior projections had estimated that nearly 35 million people would escape poverty in East Asia and the Pacific in 2020, including over 25 million in China alone.
Containment of the pandemic would allow for a sustained recovery in the region, although risks to the outlook from financial market stress would remain high.
About 11 million people could be driven into poverty in East Asia and the Pacific as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted over 780,000 people and killed more than 37,000 globally, the World Bank has warned.
The Washington-“If the economic situation were to deteriorate further, and the lower-case scenario prevails, then poverty is estimated to increase by about 11 million people,” it said in its April 2020 Economic Update for East Asia and the Pacific ahead of the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Growth in the developing East Asia and Pacific, the bank said, is projected to slow to 2.1% in the baseline and to negative 0.5% in the lower-case scenario in 2020, from an estimated 5.8% in 2019.
Despite the gloomy picture, there’s optimism. “The good news is that the region has strengths it can tap, but countries will have to act fast and at a scale not previously imagined,” said Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank.