Giving Compass' Take:

• Kelsey Piper explains that COVID-19 is reversing global progress against extreme poverty, a trend that may last years. 

• What role can you play in addressing extreme poverty? How can you advance progress on the SDGs in the face of COVID-19? 

• Read about what COVID-19 means for SDG 1

For decades, one of the most important indicators of global well-being has kept moving in the right direction: Extreme poverty has been falling.

Although experts can and do debate the details, hundreds of millions of families moved from subsisting on less than $1.90/day (the World Bank’s standard for “extreme poverty”) to living on a little more. To be sure, it’s still not enough, but it has meant less hunger, less premature death, and more opportunity. Despite wars, famines, and natural disasters, extreme poverty has fallen for the last 50 years.

In just one year, Covid-19 has changed that picture profoundly.

The World Bank predicts the number of people living in extreme poverty will rise by anywhere from 70 million to 100 million this year, and may stay that way for several years as the coronavirus-related slowdown in economic growth is expected to linger — especially in countries such as Nigeria and India, where many of the world’s poorest people live.

The number of people surviving on less than $3.20/day (the World Bank’s standard for “poverty”) is also expected to rise, by between 170 million and 220 million people. By other means of measuring poverty, the toll might be even worse: The United Nations has a metric that tracks access to clean water, adequate food, electricity, and schools, and it estimates that 490 million people will lose access to one of those things within the next year.

Read the full article about extreme poverty by Kelsey Piper at Vox.