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Global Recession to leave additional 64 M in extreme poverty

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:59:16 AM, IANS

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Washington: The impact of global recession will force an additional 64 million people across the world to live in extreme poverty by 2010, warns the World Bank.

The economic crisis and recession have substantially increased the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, according to the World Development Indicator (WDI) 2010 released by the World Bank Tuesday.

In contrast to the record growth in 2000-07, the global economy grew only 1.9 percent in 2008 and declined an estimated 2.2 percent in 2009, during the most severe recession in 50 years, Xinhua reported.

As a result, “some 64 million more people will be living in extreme poverty by 2010 because of the crisis. The effects on human welfare may be costly and long-lasting”, the report said.

During 2002-2008, low and middle income countries registered averaged economic growth of 6.2 percent annually; during 1999-2005, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell by 325 million.

The report also said that the effects of the crisis were transmitted from high-income economies to developing economies as exports, private capital flows, commodity prices, and workers’ remittances declined.

Global trade, whose growth had slowed to 3 percent in 2008, declined by around 12 percent in 2009. Developing economies’ trade fell an estimated 9 percent last year.

Private capital flows to developing economies, after peaking at nearly $1 trillion in 2007, dropped to $765 billion in 2008 and are estimated to have been much lower in 2009.

Workers’ remittances were more resilient, falling 6.1 percent to $317 billion in 2009, but varied by country, the WDI said.

Among developing country regions, Europe and Central Asia fared the worst, as GDP fell 6.2 percent. Severe economic adjustments were necessary as private capital flows, which had financed large current account deficits, were cut from $97 billion in 2007 to $50 billion in 2008, the WDI said.

Latin America and the Caribbean economies contracted 2.6 percent, with Mexico, relying almost solely on the US market for its exports, the worst off.





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