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COVID-19 could reverse 30 years' poverty reduction progress

COVID-19 could reverse 30 years of poverty reduction progress
5th May 2020 (Embargoed until 1301 NZT)

- World Vision’s priority focus will now be COVID-19 in every country where it works
- The NGO aims to support 72 million people - half of them children
- World Vision calls on world leaders to prioritise the most vulnerable people

World Vision today warned that unless the international community immediately prioritises the world’s most vulnerable in the fight against COVID-19, 30 years of progress against poverty will be reversed. Children will bear the brunt of this and child mortality rates, which have more than halved since 1990, could now start to increase again. This stark warning came as the international aid agency launched the largest humanitarian response in its history.

“We have never witnessed an emergency of this scale, affecting so many countries at once. For the first time in our 70 year history we are transforming our focus in every single country to an emergency response, so we can support those who are most vulnerable to combat this deadly virus and its aftershocks,” said World Vision International President and CEO, Andrew Morley.

The international child focussed aid agency is launching a US$350m response focused on supporting the world’s most vulnerable. The ambitious response plan will be executed in at least 70 countries and will involve 37,000 staff and 220,000 community health workers.

“World Vision is deeply concerned that the impacts of COVID-19 could permanently scar a generation of the world's most vulnerable children. Since 1990, the number of children dying from preventable causes such as poverty, hunger, and disease has more than halved. Unless the international community prioritises high-risk countries now, this pandemic will leave millions of girls and boys poorer, hungrier, sicker, less educated and exposed to more violence and abuse.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has already swept through the world’s wealthiest countries, and now the world's most vulnerable children are on the front lines. The next phase could see COVID-19 run rampant through some of the poorest, most fragile and dangerous parts of the world; places where health services are almost non-existent and where lockdowns and social distancing are impossible.

World Vision is calling on world leaders, who are now focussed on responding to the impact COVID-19 has had on the economy, to place equal priority on curbing the deadly long-term impact of COVID-19 on the world's most vulnerable.

You can read World Vision’s Response Report here:

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