11 March 2009


The financial crisis is fast becoming a human crisis.

As many as 53 million more people could be trapped in poverty as economic growth slows around the world, according to new World Bank forecasts.

And in a blow to efforts to reduce infant mortality, between 200,000 and 400,000 more babies could die each year between now and 2015 if the crisis persists, the Bank predicts.

"While much of the world is focused on bank rescues and stimulus packages, we should not forget that poor people are much more exposed if their economies falter." said World Bank president Robert Zoellick.

"We know that after the food and fuel crisis of a year ago, the estimates were that we could see an addition of about 100 million people to the ranks of the poor, and we think this crisis, in its severity, will top that" said World Bank Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Danny Leipziger.

The global crisis is likely to keep 46 million more people below the absolute poverty line of $1.25 per day, and another seven million under $2 per day, compared with previous World Bank forecasts for 2009.

These developments will undermine the plans agreed by the UN to reach the world poverty targets agreed in the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

For an up to date assessment of progress towards attaining the MDG’s in each country visit the World Bank Online Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals.

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