The head of the World Bank warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus crisis threatens to drive around 60 million people into extreme poverty and will undermine the profits made in the past three years.
The global credit institution is already funding aid programs in 100 countries to spend $ 160 billion in the next 15 months, said bank president David Malpass.
"70 percent of the world's population live here. This is a significant milestone," Malpass said in a conference call.
Malpass said the bank expects the global economy to decline by five percent this year, with serious impacts on the poorest countries.
"We estimate that up to 60 million people will experience extreme poverty, which will destroy any progress in poverty reduction in the past three years. Our forecasts indicate a deep recession," said Malpass.
Almost five million people are infected with the virus worldwide, and more than 300,000 people have died since it first appeared in China in late 2019.
So far, the World Bank has spent $ 5.5 billion to support distressed health systems, economies, and social services in poor countries.
However, Malpass stressed that the World Bank's efforts alone were insufficient and called on donor countries to step up bilateral aid to poorer countries to ensure a lasting recovery.
He said restoring the flow of remittance payments and tourism – the main source of income for developing countries – was "a critical step in reopening".
A one-year moratorium on debt payments from less developed countries, which the G-20 called for in mid-April, had found increasing acceptance.
According to Malpass, 14 countries have agreed to such a suspension of debt payments, another 23 are likely to request it, and 17 have seriously considered it.
"It is a very welcome and very quick response and a positive response to the G20's commitment," he said.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)