Increased cost-of-living crisis plunges millions in Asia-Pacific into extreme poverty: report

24 Aug 2023 10:59am
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
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MANILA - The increased cost of living sparked by surging inflation and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to push millions of people in Asia and the Pacific into extreme poverty, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Thursday.

Xinhua reported that as of 2022, an estimated 155.2 million people in developing Asia and the Pacific, equivalent to 3.9 per cent of the region's population, lived in extreme poverty, said the report Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023.

Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than US$2.15 per day, based on 2017 prices and adjusted for purchasing power and inflation, according to the report.

The report adds that poor people have been hurt the most by the increased cost-of-living crisis, as they are less able to pay higher prices for necessities such as food and fuel. Women may have also been disproportionately affected, as they tend to earn less than men.

"The increased cost-of-living crisis is undermining progress toward eliminating poverty," ADB Chief Economist Albert Park said, stressing the need to strengthen social safety nets for the poor and foster investment and innovation for growth and employment.

The ADB estimated in 2021 that the pandemic had pushed an additional 75 million to 80 million people into extreme poverty as of 2020. Extreme poverty was then defined as living on less than 1.90 dollars a day based on 2011 prices. - BERNAMA-XINHUA

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