The coronavirus pandemic will plunge 8.3 million people in the Arab region into poverty, the United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia said on Wednesday.
ESCWA also warned that two million people could become undernourished as a result.
“With today’s estimates, a total of 101.4 million people in the region would be classified as poor, and 52 million as undernourished,” the U.N. agency said.
Women and young adults working in the informal sector and who have no access to social welfare are among the most vulnerable, said ESCWA executive secretary Rola Dashti.
“Arab Governments must ensure a swift emergency response to protect their people from falling into poverty and food insecurity owing to the impact of COVID-19,” Dashti added.
ESCWA last month warned that the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out more than 1.7 million jobs across the Arab world this year.