Extreme poverty for 68 million more people in Asia-Pacific

ADB estimates in this report that 155,2 million people in developing Asia had slipped into extreme poverty

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The novel coronavirus pandemic and rising living costs pushed nearly 70 million more people in developing Asia into extreme poverty last year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report released Thursday, a reversal. in efforts to combat poverty.

ADB estimates in this report that 155,2 million people in developing Asia, or about 3,9% of the population, had slipped into extreme poverty. This number is 67,8 million higher than predicted if the health crisis and the cost of living crisis had not erupted in sequence.

By developing Asia the regional organization refers to 46 economies in the Asia-Pacific region; Japan, Australia and New Zealand are excluded.

"Asia and the Pacific are gradually recovering from the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the growing cost-of-living crisis is undermining progress towards poverty eradication," said ADB Chief Economist Albert Park.

The Asian Development Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than $2,15 a day, based on 2017 figures.

Inflation in several countries in the region reached historic highs last year, due both to a rebound in economic activity and problems in supply chains.

The price increases hit everyone, but even harder on the poorest, as they were forced to spend an even greater proportion of their incomes on food or fuel, meaning they found it harder to save or cover the cost of essential services (health, education).

By strengthening social welfare networks for the poorest, facilitating investment and innovation that creates opportunities for growth and employment, the governments of the countries in the region "can get back on track", says Mr Park.

Asia is on course to record 4,8% annual growth this year, faster than in 2022 (+4,2%), ADB estimated in July.

But while economies in developing Asia are expected to make progress in tackling poverty, ADB estimates that 30,2% of the population in this region of the world, or about 1,26 billion people, will continue to be vulnerable to economic perspective around 2030.

Source: KYPE