An alarming rate of poverty predicted by WB
Lahore, 8th October: World Bank (WB) sees an alarmingly high rate of poverty in Pakistan over the next two years.
According to a report by Baaghi TV, the World Bank has forecasted an increase in poverty rate coupled with the uncertain economic recovery owing to the adverse impacts of COVID-19.
“In Pakistan, economic growth is projected to remain below potential, at 0.5pc for FY21 compared to over 4pc annual average in the three years to FY2019,” said the bank in its latest South Asia Economic Focus report, a twice-a-year publication.
Dawn News reported that the economic growth is projected to remain below potential, averaging 1.3 per cent for FY21 and FY22, according to the report.
It said the projection, which is highly uncertain, is predicated on the absence of significant infection flare-ups or subsequent virus waves that would require further widespread lockdowns.
Hartwig Schafer, World Bank’s vice president for the South Asia region, said: “The collapse of South Asian economies during COVID-19 has been more brutal than anticipated, worst of all for small businesses and informal workers who suffer sudden job losses and vanishing wages.”
The report said that Pakistan’s economy has been brutally affected by the measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the report of Dawn News, growth is expected to be gradual but is likely to remain muted, given the heightened uncertainty and the resumption of demand compression measures. A possible resurgence of the infection, widespread crop damage due to locusts and heavy monsoon rains pose major risks to the outlook.
Overall the report said that the economy of South-East Asia is set to plunge into the worst recession after the devastating effects of the pandemic that still lingers on, pushing millions of workers into extreme poverty.
The South-East Asian governments need to address the vulnerabilities of their informal sectors through smart policies and need to allocate their scarce resources wisely.
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