For the world's poorest people, COVID-19 has brought social and economic catastrophe. Up to 115 million likely fell into extreme poverty in 2020, the World Bank estimates. Most live in lowand middle-income countries, especially in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Even progress on vaccines is tempered by uncertainty about when these will reach vulnerable populations.
The vulnerable include refugees and internally displaced people uprooted by conflict. The U.N.
Refugee Agency, UNHCR, warns that their number has now passed 80 million, equal to the population of Germany. For example, in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq, COVID-19 has pushed a million Syrian refugees and 180,000 internally displaced people into poverty. Today, 85% of refugees are hosted by low- and middle-income countries.
The current economic contraction is compounding crises of conflict, violence, and food insecurity that were already pushing communities to the brink. These countries' infrastructure, health, education, and social protection systems are not set up to cope with a shock on this scale. - blog.wb.org/blogs