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Coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant

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Coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant

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Dipali Roy could not afford to eat.

She and her husband, Pradip Roy, were working in textiles in Bangladesh when the Covid-19 pandemic hit last spring, leading to massive layoffs at their factory.

Like millions of people around the world, they both lost their jobs in the capital, Dhaka, where they had worked for years making pants, shirts and jackets. And like countless other migrants, they have been forced to move to the countryside to reduce their expenses.

The World Bank estimates that 97 million people around the world fell into poverty due to the pandemic in 2020, living on less than $ 2 a day.

There has been little improvement since.

“Globally, the increase in poverty that occurred in 2020 due to Covid persists, and the poor people induced by Covid in 2021 continue to be 97 million people,” World Bank economists said in an article by blog earlier this year. They noted, however, that overall poverty is expected to decline this year.

“We barely had enough to get home,” Dipali Roy said in an interview in Bengali from the family home, a corrugated iron shack in a village in northern Bangladesh.

As the couple searched for new ways to make a living, they struggled to adjust. They tried to find a loan to start a small business, but at first no one was able or willing to help them. Some local associations the organizations asked for guarantees, which they did not have.

In the hope of getting a job in agriculture, Pradip Roy approaches a few farmers. But he was fired as a “man from Dhaka,” who would not be able to cope with the harsh weather conditions, his wife said.

Mainly, “the food was the biggest problem,” said Dipali Roy, 20, who was pregnant at the time and could sometimes only have one meal a day thanks to a public rationing program. “I didn’t know what to do… We just had to sit down and wait when they brought food.”

2020 has brought a historic setback in the fight against global poverty, with the number of the world’s poorest people increasing for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the World Bank.

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