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COVID-19 Poses Unprecedented Threat To Fight Against Poverty

As the United Nations General Assembly prepares to meet, World Vision is warning that the UN’s decades of work fighting poverty could be reversed by COVID-19.

The percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty decreased from 36 in 1990 to 10 in 2015. But poverty is back on the rise in the most vulnerable and fragile countries and the consequences will be felt for generations to come if leaders don’t take swift action.

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President & CEO, said: “Our message to leaders at the UN General Assembly is simple: the fallout from COVID-19 will wreck the futures of an entire generation of children - unless we act now. Progress that had been made is now in jeopardy. As ever, it is the most vulnerable girls and boys who are most at risk.”

New research contained in the report Aftershocks: Deadly Waves, released by World Vision, found that the majority of people in donor countries believe governments should increase investment in overseas COVID-19 funding.

The series of Aftershocks reports from World Vision also found the pandemic’s economic toll has left families, already living on the edge, out of work, has forced vulnerable children out of school due to lockdowns, and threatened millions more with hunger and starvation. World Vision assessments estimated that the secondary impacts in Asia alone may leave up to 85 million households with no or limited food supplies, with 8 million children forced into child labour or begging. In Latin America, every third Venezuelan migrant child is going to bed hungry. In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in seven female business owners told us they are earning less than half what they did prior to the pandemic.

“71 million people risk being pushed back into extreme poverty. We must do all it takes to stop this happening, giving children the chance to thrive and reach their potential” said Morley.

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