Over 70 million people could be drowing in extreme poverty, projects UNDP report

The study looked into the cost-of-living crisis in developing countries with a focus on poverty and vulnerability projections and policy responses.

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JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) new report on the cost-of-living crisis projects that 71 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of soaring food and energy prices.

The study looked into the cost-of-living crisis in developing countries with a focus on poverty and vulnerability projections and policy responses.

It describes sub-Saharan Africa particularly in the Sahel, the Balkans and other poor regions as the crisis hotspots.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has compounded the situation with disruptions in the energy and food markets.

Moreover, UNDP said the war has had an immediate and devastating effect on the welfare of households.

The report projects that 51 million people may have been pushed to extreme poverty and survived off $1.90c a day – which is less than R32.

An additional 20 million people could be in the same circumstance at $3.20c a day.

"We may be witnessing the largest cost-of-living crisis seen at least in a generation and it's happening right now as people and countries are not only trying to cope but increasingly limitation of their capacity to cope," said UNDP administrator Achim Steiner.

The report further stated that the consequences of the global market disruptions came at a time when there was already an upward trend in energy and food prices.