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Economics

Covid-19 Could Push Half A Billion People Into Poverty

According to one estimate, 420-580 million people worldwide could be pushed into poverty, with as much as 240 million of them living in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Boris Sullivan

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Charity group Oxfam has warned that a recession caused by Covid-19 could push an extra half a billion people into poverty – 8 percent of the world’s population – unless urgent action is taken. 

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A global recession could reverse up to three decades of improvements in living standards and, according to one estimate, push 420-580 million people worldwide into poverty. The World Food Program, has warned that COVID-19 will likely double the number of people suffering from acute hunger, to 265 million.

  • COVID-19 could spark a global recession, reversing up to three decades of improvements in living standards.
  • According to one estimate, 420-580 million people worldwide could be pushed into poverty.
  • It’s vital that governing bodies and world banks work together to support the countries than are unable to support themselves, write two former world leaders and two economists.

The most serious scenario involves a 20 percent fall in income which would result in an additional 548 million people earning less than the World Bank poverty threshold of $5.50 per day.

Poverty rate increased from 7.2 percent to 9.8 percent

Between 2015 and 2018, the poverty rate in Thailand increased from 7.2 percent to 9.8 percent, and the absolute number of people living in poverty rose from 4.85 million to over 6.7 million. The increase in poverty in 2018 was widespread – occurring in all regions and in 61 out of 77 provinces.

Although lockdowns are being eased in many places, the daily number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide recently reached its highest level yet, while the pandemic’s devastating economic toll continues to mount as new epicenters arise in the emerging and developing world.

According to one estimate, 420-580 million people worldwide could be pushed into poverty by the global recession

We are at a critical moment, because the poorest countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are facing economic and public-health emergencies that demand immediate action. A diverse group of middle-income economies need help, too. Together, these countries represent nearly 70% of the world’s population and account for approximately one-third of global GDP.

Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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Economics

Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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