"Exceptionally dire": Secondary impacts of COVID-19 could increase global poverty and hunger
MORE THAN 240,000 people worldwide have already died of Covid-19, and before the pandemic finishes, it could kill hundreds of thousands, even millions, more. But the final toll is destined to be far higher than just those who die of Covid-19. Experts warn that deaths from secondary impacts — poverty, hunger, diseases, and violence exacerbated by the pandemic — may dwarf the number of those who die of the novel coronavirus itself.
A new analysis by researchers from King’s College London and Australian National University, under the aegis of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, for example, warns that the economic contraction caused by Covid-19 could push an additional 500 million people — about 8 percent of the Earth’s population — into poverty, reversing 30 years of economic improvement. “We were surprised at the sheer scale of the potential poverty tsunami that could follow Covid-19 in developing countries,” said Andy Sumner, one of the study’s authors.