The pandemic has pushed an estimated 75 to 80 million more people in developing Asia into extreme poverty as of last year, compared with what would have happened without Covid-19, a new report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said.
Assuming that the pandemic has increased inequality, the relative rise in extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.90 a day — may be even greater, according to ‘Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021’.
Progress has also stalled in areas such as hunger, health, and education, where earlier achievements across the region had been significant, albeit uneven.
According to the report, about 203m people or 5.2 per cent of developing Asia’s population lived in extreme poverty as of 2017. Without Covid-19, that number would have declined to an estimated 2.6pc in 2020.