United Nations, April 13: The Covid pandemic plunged 77 million more people into extreme poverty last year and many developing countries can’t recover because of the crippling cost of debt repayments — and that was before the added impact of the war in Ukraine, a UN report said Tuesday.
The report said rich countries could support their recovery from pandemic slumps with record amounts borrowed at ultra-low interest rates. But the poorest countries spent billions of dollars servicing their debts and faced much higher borrowing costs, preventing them from spending on improving education and health care, protecting the environment and reducing inequality. According to the UN, 812 million people lived in extreme poverty — on USD 1.90 a day or less — in 2019, and by 2021 amid the pandemic the number had risen to 889 million.
The report is on financing to achieve UN development goals for 2030, including ending poverty, ensuring quality education for all young people and achieving gender equality.