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Nigeria has the largest poor population in sub-Saharan Africa, with 79 million extremely poor in 2018, the World Bank said in a new report.

Punch reports that the country accounts for 20 per cent of the total poor in the region, according to the bank’s biennial ‘Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report’.

The report said the COVID-19 pandemic would push up to 40 million into extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

It said, “Almost half of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa live in just five economies: Nigeria (79 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (60 million), Tanzania (28 million), Ethiopia (26 million), and Madagascar (20 million).

“In Nigeria, administrative areas in the north and northeast have poverty rates higher than the national average, but poverty rates are lower in areas closer to the coast.”

According to the report, many of the global poor live in middle-income countries, such as India and Nigeria, where the income requirement for being non-poor is higher than the international poverty line.

The World Bank described sub-Saharan Africa as the region with the largest concentration of the extreme poor, with many economies having poverty rates well above the world average.

It said, “Of the 44 economies with available poverty estimates in the region, 38 have a rate of extreme poverty higher than 10 per cent. Half of the economies have poverty rates higher than 35 per cent.

“Of the 20 economies with the largest poverty rates (based on PovacalNet estimates), 18 are in sub-Saharan Africa, and two are in the Middle East and North Africa (Syria and the Republic of Yemen).”



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