The corona crisis could cause another 500 million people worldwide to end up in poverty, Oxfam Novib said in a new report. For example, the fight against poverty would be reversed more than a decade by economic damage.
Especially people in poorer countries are hit hard, according to general director Michiel Servaes. They often work in the informal economy and cannot fall back on benefits or paid sick leave. "Even if the virus doesn't hit them, the misery will be enormous."
"More than a million Bangladeshi garment workers have already been sent home unpaid or lost their jobs after orders have been canceled or suspended by Western clothing brands," Oxfam cites as an example. Many brands such as H&M and Zara produce in low-wage countries such as Bangladesh.
Freeze debt repayments of poor countries
The aid agency calls on finance ministers from rich countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to put together an economic rescue package for poorer countries.
According to Oxfam, 2.5 trillion dollars (2.29 trillion euros) would be needed to counter the economic effects. The aid agency is proposing, among other things, the cancellation or postponement of $ 1 trillion in debt payments that are planned for poor countries in 2020.
According to Oxfam Novib's general director, the Netherlands could make a contribution by reserving 1 percent of its own crisis package for aid to poorer countries. "We cannot ignore the economic devastation in poor countries," said the director.
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The coronavirus in short
- The coronavirus mainly spreads through sneezes and cough drops. Most patients have mild (flu-like) complaints. These are the symptoms.
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- In our corona guide we give you an overview of all reliable information and what you should and can do now that you are at home a lot.