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The UN warned in a report on Thursday that hundreds of thousands of children could die this year due to the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic and that tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty.
“The economic hardship faced by families due to the global economic downturn could lead to hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing child mortality in one year” , according to the UN report. .
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The United Nations has estimated that between 42 million and 66 million children may fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis, adding to the 386 million already living in extreme poverty in 2019.
The report adds that 188 countries have closed schools across the country, affecting more than 1.5 billion children, according to Reuters.
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“The potential losses that can accumulate in learning for the young generation of today and for the development of their human capital are difficult to understand,” said the UN. “More than two-thirds of the countries have set up a national distance learning platform, but among low-income countries, the share is only 30%.”
With companies shutting down and much of the world having to stay at home to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the International Monetary Fund predicted that the world would experience its most severe economic slowdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
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To date, the coronavirus has infected more than 2 million people worldwide and killed 140,773 people. The United States leads the world in reported cases, with at least 648,788 as of Thursday.