Covid-19 Pandemic to Make 8.3 Million Arabs Poor

Beirut, MINA – Millions of people around the world face economic uncertainty because the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, but the UN office focused on the Middle East has warned that the Arab world will suffer greatly with around 8.3 million people expected to fall into poverty.

Such a large increase would bring the number of people in the poor Arab world to 101.4 million, including 52 million classified by the United Nations as “malnourished”, the MEE reported.

According to a report on Wednesday by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), the number of malnourished people will increase by around 2 million.

According to the agency, malnutrition is the biggest risk to health worldwide – greater than the combination of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis eith around 821 million people not getting enough food to be healthy and live an active life.

“The Arab government must ensure a quick emergency response to protect their people from falling into poverty and food insecurity due to the effects of COVID-19,” said ESCWA Executive Secretary, Rola Dashti.

“Regional emergency response must support national efforts and mobilize resources and expertise to protect the poor and vulnerable,” he said.

Last month, the agency warned that the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out more than 1.7 million jobs throughout the Arab world this year.

“The consequences of the crisis will be very severe in vulnerable groups, especially women and young adults, and those working in the informal sector who do not have access to social protection and unemployment insurance,” Dashti said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)