Will increase the number of poor in the south-east Asian countries by millions, claims World Bank

Geneva: – The World Bank has warned, ‘The global economy has received a severe jolt because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The south-east Asian countries will be the worst hit with this and millions of people will be pushed into poverty.’ The World Bank also expressed a possibility that the effects of the pandemic may be felt even in the next financial year, along with the current fiscal. Meanwhile, the Bank has warned that the economic growth rate of China, the origin of the pandemic, will come to half.

On Monday, the World Bank published a report about the Coronavirus and the economic upheavals in three months. The report says that the growth rate of the developing countries in the East-Asia-Pacific region, excluding China, will be only 2.8%. The report further warns that this growth rate will only be achievable if the pandemic is controlled soon and the industry sector receives an impetus. But if the pandemic continues its rampage, the growth rate of the countries in this sector will continue to be lower.

Aditya Mattu, an economist and World Bank expert on the East-Asia-Pacific region, issued this warning referring to the report. Mattu warned ‘The Growth in these countries will come to a standstill resulting in increase in poverty.’ Currently, two-thirds of the countries in the world are under lockdown. Mattu pointed out that there are maximum countries from the Asian region under lockdown.

He added that economies of at least 17 countries would be trapped under the Coronavirus pandemic. The industry in these countries has come to a grinding halt and commercial transport and import-export have stopped. In this scenario, if these countries’ economies do not recover and the growth rate keeps showing negative trends, at least 11 million people will be pushed into poverty.

At the same time, Mattu said ‘The economies of these countries are mutually dependent in this interdependent world. Therefore, the effect in one country’s economy affects the other countries too.’ Mattu said that the South Korean example would have to be followed if the countries want to come out of the Coronavirus crisis and recover the economy. Mattu pointed out that South Korea had increased testing to stop the spread of the pandemic.

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