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COVID-19 affecting poorest countries’

The global economy seems to be booming.

This is coming, only a year after COVID-19 triggered deepest recession across the world.

Almost all advanced economies will go back to their pre-pandemic per-capita income levels in 2022. In some parts of the world, clearly, the pandemic’s damage is being repaired quickly.

Not so in the 74 countries that are eligible to borrow from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).These are the world’s poorest, which account for half of  people living on less than $1.90 daily.

For them, the global “recovery” is simply nowhere to be seen. In the year, their growth will be the slowest in more than two decades (except for last year), reversing years of progress in poverty reduction. For them, the harm will not be repaired quickly. By 2030, one out of every four people within the IDA countries will still be living below the international poverty line.

Vice President, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI), World Bank Group, Indermit Gill, said maternal and child mortality is on the upswing in IDA countries because of reduced access to health services and food. Conflict and instability are also compounding the challenges for some countries. History shows that misery on this scale inevitably transcends national borders.

He said IDA countries will need significant help to dig out of the pandemic recession.

Gill said poorest countries growth would lag that of advanced economies by about two percentage points a year on average from 2021 through 2023, widening an already large gap between the richest and poorest countries.

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