COVID-19: 500 million people in the world at risk of poverty



(Paris) Half a billion more people in the world could fall into poverty in the absence of rapid support plans for the poorest countries, faced with the coronavirus pandemic, says NGO Oxfam.

France Media Agency

In a report entitled “The Price of Dignity”, Oxfam indicates that between 6% and 8% of the world's population could fall into poverty as governments take action. stopping entire economies in order to control the spread of the virus.

“This could constitute, globally, a ten-year decline in the fight against poverty, and a decline of 30 years in certain regions such as in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East or North Africa “, more than half of the world's population is threatened with falling below the poverty line following the pandemic, adds the organization.

Oxfam issued this warning before the IMF and World Bank meetings in April as well as that of the G finance ministers 20, which will all be held virtually.

Without social protection systems, the poorest countries would be more affected as well as the disadvantaged populations, including women.

To avoid this, Oxfam recommends granting direct financial aid to those most affected and priority support for small businesses, by conditioning financial aid granted to greater measures for vulnerable populations.

She also pleads for the cancellation this year of debt repayments from the poorest countries, citing the example of Ghana which could “provide 20 dollars per month to each of 16 millions of children, disabled and elderly people in the country for six months 's' he was freed from deadlines on the payment of his debt.

Other Oxfam recommendations include an increase of at least 1000 billion dollars in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to enable it to come to the aid of the poorest countries, the increase in official development assistance donor countries now and the creation of emergency solidarity taxes by taxing extraordinary profits, the greatest fortunes, speculative financial products and activities having a negative impact on the environment.

“France can decide without waiting for the cancellation of the debt payments due to it by the developing countries for 2020 to help them immediately deal with the crisis, ”said Robin Guittard, campaign manager at Oxfam France.