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COVID-19: 514 million Africans risk falling below extreme poverty

No less than 514 million Africans risk falling below extreme poverty level as a result of the ravaging Coronavirus disease across the world, which has not also spared the continent.

This is part of the conclusions arrived at during the 7th African Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (ARFSD) kicked off Tuesday under the chairmanship of the Zimbabwe Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Paul Mavima.

According to the ECA Africa Sustainable Development Report, SDG and Agenda 2063 implementation in Africa faced several challenges even prior to the onset of the COVID19 crisis:

Before the pandemic, income disparities were on the rise across the region; and while extreme poverty had almost vanished in North Africa, more than 50% of the population in Central Africa lived below the extreme poverty line.

About nine out of ten extremely poor people in the world currently live in Africa. The ECA warns that COVID19 will push an additional 5 to 29 million below the extreme poverty line.

If the impact of the pandemic is not limited by 2021. An additional 59 million people could suffer the same fate, which would bring the total number of extremely poor Africans to 514 million people.

Africa continues to experience disparities in universal access to energy, electricity and even clean fuels and technologies for cooking.

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