The Asia and the Pacific region’s fight against poverty has been set back by at least two years, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The bank revealed in its “Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2022” report that the setback was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with the likelihood that many of those who live in the region will find it more difficult than ever to climb out of poverty.
Additionally, ADB said that if the pandemic had not happened, the region’s economic growth for this year was expected to reduce the rate of those in the extreme poverty segment, which is defined as living off less than US$1.90 daily, to a level that would have been reached in 2020.
Furthermore, the bank said that simulations of data also revealed that individuals in the region who had lower levels of social mobility, also known as the ability to overcome poverty, may endure more severe and long lasting setbacks as a result of the pandemic.
According to the ADB, the Covid-19 crisis halted a decades-long trend of declining poverty in Asia and the Pacific.
Apart from that, the bank also said that although economic conditions are improving, the overall progress has been uneven.
ADB also stated that the pandemic may also have exacerbated forms of poverty other than income. This includes food security as well as inadequate access to health services and education.
The bank’s chief economist, Albert Park, said that the poor and vulnerable group have been the ones badly impacted by COVID-19 and even though economies are recovering, many individuals may find it even more difficult to get out of poverty as compared to before.
For that, he suggests that the governments in the region should concentrate on resiliency, innovation, and inclusion in order to give everyone more balanced economic opportunities as well as social mobility.
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