The World Bank projects that, by 2030, an estimated 479 million people will be living in extreme poverty, according to the State of Economic Inclusion Report 2021.
Following a business-as-usual scenario, the organisation also projects that the share of global poor living in fragile and conflict-affected countries is expected to reach 50% by the same year.
The report said that, in the final months of 2020, the fallout from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raises the possibility of more than 80 million people being pushed into extreme poverty.
“In recent years, there has been growing global momentum to strengthen and scale up economic inclusion for the poorest,” the report read, “Emerging experiences show the potential of economic inclusion programmes, as part of integrated policy responses, to mitigate the economy-wide and sector-specific downturns created by this pandemic and ultimately to facilitate the restoration of livelihoods and the recovery of communities.”
The State of Economic Inclusion Report 2021 highlighted the experiences of the 75 countries featured in the review.
The momentum for this shift is driven by the scale-up of government-led programmes that build on social protection, livelihoods and jobs, and financial inclusion investments. This shift is also fuelled by a promising evidence base, and a groundswell of learning, originating especially from graduation programmes within the non-profit sector, the report noted.
Additionally, the report identified 219 active economic inclusion programmes in 75 countries, reaching nearly 92 million individuals, with additional programmes in the planning phase.
The Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) Landscape Survey 2020 reveals a variety of programme implementers, but government backed ones are quickly increasing. Government-led programmes cover approximately 90% of programme beneficiaries in half of the projects surveyed.
The report pointed to a continued and growing learning agenda around economic inclusion for the poorest. Across the world, economic inclusion programmes are being customised to local settings, with programmes invariably adopting a learning-by-doing approach.
The World Bank believed that the flexibility of economic inclusion programmes makes them well suited to adapt to changing poverty contexts and megatrends, such as informality, urbanisation, demographic shifts, and technology.
This flexibility also points to the potential for the increased importance of economic inclusion programs in response to major shocks, including the medium- to long-term response and recovery effort around COVID-19.
As programmes evolve, the learning agenda will continue to grow, with the promise of better informing the existing evidence base and bolstering political buy-in for programmes and approaches that demonstrate effectiveness.
The Partnership for Economic Inclusion will serve as an important platform to meet this demand for knowledge and continued innovation and learning, the World Bank disclosed.