World Bank Predicts 13 Million Africans to Fall into Poverty This Year
Kevin Namunwa  |  Aug 14, 2020

World Bank predicts that 13 million Africans are expected to fall below the poverty line at the end of this year.

In fact, the World Bank predicts that 13 million Africans falling in poverty is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is 50 million Africans falling below the poverty line at the end of this year because of the economic knocks occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth is now at 3%-5% lower than the predicted figure before the pandemic. This means the number of Africans living on less than Ksh 200 is likely to increase by 2% from the estimated 41.6% at the end of 2018 to 43.9% at the end of 2020.

However, the multilateral lender says that the drop will not be enough to sink the continent into its first recession in 25 years. The United Kingdom has already fallen into depression due to the effects of the pandemic.

The continent has been making major gains in poverty reduction over the years by a slight improvement in policy decisions and governance. Poverty levels in the region dropped from 46.6% in 2010 to 41.6% in 2018.

The World Bank outlook means the gains are set to be reversed as pandemic continues to ravage the fragile and relatively poor economies.

“The swift and aggressive efforts taken by many African governments to contain the disease, necessary as they are, have come at an enormous economic cost,” said the World Bank in a release sent to newsrooms.

Before the pandemic, African governments were already struggling to raise revenue. With the pandemic at play now, tax revenues are growing at an even slower rate forcing them to bridge expenditure deficit through debts. Kenya has already taken several loans to cushion itself from the effects of the pandemic.

Measures to cushion their citizens such as cash transfers, food distribution programmes, tax reliefs, and stimulus packages for sectoral supports have come at a big economic cost for governments.

Containment measures such as movement restrictions, work from home orders, lockdowns and curfews have led to income losses for many Africans.

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