American Journal of Economics

p-ISSN: 2166-4951    e-ISSN: 2166-496X

2020;  10(4): 213-224



The Extent of COVID-19 Pandemic Socio-Economic Impact on Global Poverty. A Global Integrative Multidisciplinary Review

Mohamed Buheji1, Katiane da Costa Cunha2, Godfred Beka3, Bartola Mavrić4, Yuri Leandro do Carmo de Souza5, Simone Souza da Costa Silva6, Mohammed Hanafi7, Tulika Chetia Yein8

1Founder, International Inspiration Economy Project, Bahrain

2Professor PhD of the Medical Course, Pará State University, Marabá, Pará, Brazil

3University for Development Studies, Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, Department of Social Science, Ghana

4Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics, Department of Tourism Management, Turkey

5Psychologist in Behavior Theory & Research, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Brazil

6Professor of Behavior Theory & Research, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Brazil

7College of Education Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

8Poverty Community Expert, Assam, India

Correspondence to: Mohamed Buheji, Founder, International Inspiration Economy Project, Bahrain.


Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


The outbreak of COVID 19 made many poor communities in different places of the world face very challenging socio-economic and livelihood consequences. This paper targets to analyse this socio-economic impact to determine how the pandemic is causing various problems to the impoverished. An integrative literature review was carried out to sample the consequences of the global pandemic economic crisis on the poor communities in four different continents. The research points out how it is hard on the poor to adhere to the restrictive measures of social isolation or the lockdown. Immediate strategies that minimize the pandemic impact on the livelihood and the socio-economic activities of the poor are suggested. The research opens future research about more specialised programs for the poor during any future lockdowns.

Keywords: Poverty, Poor Community, Socio-economic, COVID-19, Global Crisis, Pandemic Impact, Integrative Review, Asia, Africa, Europe, South America

Cite this paper: Mohamed Buheji, Katiane da Costa Cunha, Godfred Beka, Bartola Mavrić, Yuri Leandro do Carmo de Souza, Simone Souza da Costa Silva, Mohammed Hanafi, Tulika Chetia Yein, The Extent of COVID-19 Pandemic Socio-Economic Impact on Global Poverty. A Global Integrative Multidisciplinary Review, American Journal of Economics, Vol. 10 No. 4, 2020, pp. 213-224. doi: 10.5923/j.economics.20201004.02.

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Literature Review
    2.1. Understanding the Phenomenon of Poverty
    2.2. Multidimensional Poverty and the Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic
    2.3. Status of Poverty in the World Before COVID-19
        2.3.1. Case of Asia (Focus on India as an Example)
        2.3.2. Case of Africa (Focus on Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya as Examples)
        2.3.3. Case of South America (Focus on Brazil as an Example)
        2.3.4. Case of Europe (Focus on the EU Performance towards the Vulnerable as an Example)
    2.4. Estimating the Global Poverty Status Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
    2.5. Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on the Poverty Communities
        2.5.1. Asian Continent
        2.5.2. African Continent
        2.5.3. South American Continent
        2.5.4. European Continent
    2.6. Capacity of the Poor in Applying Social Distancing
3. Methodology
    3.1. Introduction to Integrative Review (IR) Method
    3.2. Integrative Review Guiding Question
    3.3. Study Design Strategy
    3.4. Study Eligibility Criteria
    3.5. Data Synthesis and Quality Assessment
4. Results and Discussion
    4.1. The New Normal Wave of Poverty Due to COVID-19
    4.2. COVID-19 and the Disparity between Social Classes
    4.3. Political Response to COVID-19 and the Extent of Vulnerability
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
    5.1. COVID-19 as a New Source of Poverty Creation
    5.2. COVID-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity for More Robust Health System for the Poor
    5.3. Final Recommendations

1. Introduction

The emergence of the current global pandemic, Covid-19, has so far been a threat to the worldwide community. COVID-19 or novel coronavirus is a variant of the corona family of viruses which causes SARS on the people they infect. The virus is chiefly transmitted through coughing or sneezing on people. With the lack of any suitable vaccine, most governments have imposed lockdowns to curb the growth of the virus.
Several countries have adopted aggressive health policies and geared their resources to the reality of this global health emergency, based on the experiences of countries that suffered the early attacks of this zoonotic fierce-full virus.
However, many slow developing countries and new emerging economy countries cannot take similar measures to the developed countries or the rich developing ones. This even is becoming difficult with the unstable global economy, which is estimated to contract by 2.8% in 2020. Such a depression on a global scale means a decrease of -12.5% within the third quarter. This scenario is even more severe in emerging economies, where the economic recovery will be even slower in economies. (Innes McFee, 2020).
One of the consequences of this global economic depression will be seen in the increase in pressure on prices, which will recover in mid-2022. As projections, the increase in the world unemployment rate will reach a mark of more than 10% at the end of 2020 in return for 5.2% seen in 2019. In this sense, regardless of its socio-economic situation, each country needs to take measures that would balance between the demand for health safety and the livelihood requirements of its people.
Sumner et al. (2020) confirmed in the UN study that global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990. This means that COVID poses a real threat to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) for ending poverty by 2030. Through calculating the contractions per capita of household income or consumption, Sumner team set three scenarios: low, medium, and high global decreases of 5, 10, and 20 per cent; for the three international poverty lines of US$1.90, US$3.20 and US$5.50 per day.
According to one estimate, 1.4 billion people are trapped in extreme poverty and reside in developing countries (IFAD, 2011). This estimate includes many countries in Africa, which have a large population of people out of poverty. In some regions, the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could return the poverty levels similar to those recorded 30 years ago. Under the most extreme scenario of a 20 per cent income or consumption contraction, the number of people living in poverty could more increase by 420–580 million, relative to the latest official recorded figures for 2018. Sumner et al. (2020)
Although the pandemic has created different local realities between the various countries and continents of the world, they are still one common worry and question: How the COVID-19 mitigation restrictive measures are creating an impact on the poor communities around the world, regardless of their country? In this global multi-disciplinary holistic review, we shall explore such impact from different perspectives.
The World Bank defines poverty as "an inability to achieve a minimum standard of living" (2018). Consist of this fact, today more people around the world are losing the various dimensions for a minimum standard of living. The breakout of the Covid-19 is only speeding it. This is quite clear in countries where there are a high number of people without a formal contract, or depending on day to day self-employment. These are the people that would suffer most in this pandemic, especially when the world continues to be forced to apply force social distancing through quarantines, lockdown and curfew. World Bank (2018).
In this paper, we call for considering and striking a balance between the social, the economic and the health strategies in the next new normal, in order to minimize the famine, the hunger, the starvation and the depth of poverty in many regions of the world. In this sense, the present holistic review evaluates the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 protective measures and what possible alternatives for poor communities.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Understanding the Phenomenon of Poverty

Latvia (1998) believes that poverty is a status of humiliation, a sense of being dependent on the others, and of being forced to accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when one seeks help.
In the simplest sense poverty can be defined as simply “the state of being poor”. Varying international institutions have differing views on this matter. Sometimes such definitions are the impetus behind legal mechanisms. United Nations in a General Assembly session once defined poverty as “fundamentally poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity”. The United Nations sees poverty as the “state of deprivation reflected in the low consumption of food and low health conditions and educational level and lack of access to it and low housing conditions”. UN (2020).
Thus, poverty as phenomena means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It is beyond not having enough to feed and clothe a family, but goes to the scarcity of having access to school or clinic, scarcity of land on which to grow one’s food, or a job to earn one’s living, or even scarcity to access support or credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. Being poor means, one would have the susceptibility to violence and would be living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.
In a simple sense, we can say that poverty as phenomena deprive people from the right to enjoy basic necessities of life. And this phenomenon can come as relative poverty or the notion of the inability to meet minimum standards of living, and differs to each economical and geographical context. We can’t say that someone from the impoverished section of society in the West and Scandinavian countries is equally poor compared to the impoverished section of the societies in South Asian countries.
The second category of poverty phenomena is absolute poverty or the complete lack of means necessary to maintain personal socio-economic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. Here the meaning doesn’t change according to context. Some nations are perpetually in the state of abject poverty. Some of the reasons can be a fragile economic plan, dictatorship, colonised past and many other things.
Understanding the poverty revolves around ‘income’ is significant for emergency lockdowns such as the ones that happened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here the lack of income is a crucial factor in determining all the subsequent harm. Having less purchasing power can often leave impoverished people at the raw end of all political commitments, a lot of time the impoverished are unsurprisingly hit the hardest by natural and induced phenomena like famine, diseases, war, riots, etc.
Most analysis of poverty still focuses on numerical monetary parameters, establishing demarcation lines that define the poor and the indigent (Moura et al., 2014). These measures allow the comparison between and within societies, however, they are hardly able to deal with the complexity of the phenomenon, which involves situations that go beyond the simple absence of money (Cidade et al., 2012; Moura et al., 2014; Oliveira et al., 2017).
Recently, scholars of the phenomenon have used synthetic indexes to help in a broader understanding of the condition of poverty from different perspectives that what are usually published by international organisations like the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. Among the important research that brought new indices is the work of Barros et al. (2006). This Brazilian study set 48 indicators organized in six dimensions, namely: vulnerability, scarcity of access to knowledge, scarcity of access to work, scarcity of resources, development of children and homelessness.
However, most analyses of poverty still are constrained with the numerical monetary parameters; therefore, many researchers called for establishing demarcation lines that define the poor and indigent (Moura et al., 2014). For example, in Brazil, there is no official demarcation line of poverty, the country still has different measures for definition of the poor (Oliveira et al., 2017).
With the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more measures that address the complexity of the poverty phenomenon, and goes beyond the comparison between one community to another, and certainly beyond the simple absence of money (Buheji and Ahmed, 2019; Silva et al., 2017; Moura et al. 2014 Cidade et al., 2012).

2.2. Multidimensional Poverty and the Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic

What makes COVID-19 pandemic very unique human experience is that due it is for the first time that the world has collectively experienced such a mass disease transmission in the modern era, where technology has vastly improved since the last 100 years. With the speed of spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease and the slow reach of vaccination, inflation of food and deterioration of other related livelihoods would push many people towards famine and starvation, besides the spread of corruption, crime and terrorist power expansion are highly expected. This would enhance absolute, and relative poverty all over the world and specifically the efforts to end illiteracy and low education are going to be affected (Ahmed and Buheji, 2018).
There are three main types of poverty that would be affected by the challenge of COVID-19. Relative poverty would be the most affected type of poverty. Many middle classes would feel the punch of the deterioration of the socio-economic living standard compared to what they used to access freely. The income inequality would increase due to the total instability. The absolute poverty is the second affected type of poverty where many would come just under the line of poverty due to the amount of unemployment and difficulty of finding full-time jobs. The least affected type would the extreme poverty where the percentage of people who have a scarcity of essential food, clean water, health shelter, education and information would approximately stay the same.
Understanding of poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon, marked by multiple aspects, not controlled by economic factors only, is fundamental when we deal with life freezing pandemic. Poverty extends to level and quality of education, occupation and health. This understanding would help us to visualize the magnitude of the impacts of the crisis and extent of the impact that this pandemic carry.
Whiles the developed and rich developing countries experiencing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and how it deprived them of many qualities of life practices, one should remember those who have been deprived of life necessities all their life, where poverty is causing for them multi-disability for them and their family. The worries now are that COVID-19 mitigation measures are going to lead to further deprivation of minimal survival and life necessities needs. This deficiency might expand from deprivation due to insufficient income, to lack of income. (Buheji, 2019).
While poverty is a relative concept that changes from time to place, we might be faced with the perpetuation of poverty over time. Therefore, sometimes, the poor are considered merely as the one who cannot find the strength of his day and night (Schilbach et al., 2016). However, it is worth to mention that all the types of poverty, in reality, participate in creating failure in the capacity of the poor to manage their assets or autonomously develop their condition (Buheji, 2019a).
Today with the internet and social media availability one could see a disturbing trend about how people from poorer backgrounds are held responsible and vilified by more privileged people of the society for problems they don’t have the power to solve during the nationwide lockdown in India.
On this basis of Social, Health, Economic and Social aspects, there are different ways to identify the types of poverty. First, there is the financial poverty, where the poor might have the asset, but not the cash flow. Second to this type of poverty is physical poverty, where people would look poor, or have a health condition that carries the symptoms of indigence as malnutrition (Buheji, 2019b).

2.3. Status of Poverty in the World Before COVID-19

2.3.1. Case of Asia (Focus on India as an Example)
Since the COVID-19 declared a pandemic, Indian Government, knowing the very fragile situation of its healthcare system, invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and consequently educational institutions and many commercial establishments were shut down. India was one of the first countries in the global arena to have shut down its borders to prevent the transmission of the virus through international passengers. On March 22, 2020, PMOI Narendra Modi requested a 14-hour self-imposed lockdown. It was followed soon by nationwide lockdown which was initially about to be lifted by 14 April, but inadvertently pushed till 3rd May due to the gravity of the situation. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Tracker published in its report based on data from 73 countries that India topped the list on acting more stringently than other countries.
From the second lockdown, certain relaxations took place including permitting listed economic activities in ‘green zones’ or places which are at a very low risk of COVID-19. At the time of writing, the COVID-19 curve in India looks to be going in the right direction as the doubling rate had slowed to a very large extent from the point when the lockdown started. What remains a question is how India would respond to the impending issues on the poorer sections of the society. Deccanherald (2020)
India has been a hotspot of the huge informal sector. 90% of the working population in India still works in the informal sector; a sizeable portion includes rickshawalas, migrant labourers, landless agricultural labourers, etc. Working at the informal sector comes with a fair share of problems. There’s no job security, no sick leave, no paid leave, all in all, puts the employee under very bad conditions. The Economic Times (2020).
2.3.2. Case of Africa (Focus on Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya as Examples)
With coronavirus diseases, many developing countries and especially in the African continent are going to face long-term consequences, World Bank (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic is a real threat to all type of livelihood for all over the world, but it is most devastating when it would carry further deterioration to those mostly on living below any economic, social, health and educational services.
The world's poorest continent may experience the greatest economic loss in recent years, as some governments fail to provide aid to their people during the pandemic. It is necessary for health professionals, governments and policymakers to recognize the seriousness of the possible socio-economic consequences.
The World Bank (2000) describes poverty as hunger, lack of shelter, being sick and not being able to see a doctor, not having access to school and not knowing how to read, not having a job, fearing the future, and living one day at a time. Statistics show that till today, the majority of Africans fit this description. Besides 70% or more, today lives on less than $2.50 a day compared to almost half of the world, while 80% of all humans live on less than $10 a day. However, one has to add that these poverty factors are based mainly on the capital-based economy.
Africa also has the repeated factor of poverty that has stayed in this continent since human history that is the internal and external human-made conflicts (Newell and Simon, 1972). With the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this repeated factor would bring in more death and misery to those barely surviving communities.
The colonization of Africans in many years of slavery and the lack of technology and industry knowledge has been a major cause of sustained poverty in this region of the world. Besides the ineffective leadership and poor governance, bribery and corruption, and lack of vision and foresight have also caused the current situation of poverty in Africa.
According to the World Bank, the percentage of people living below $ 1.90 a day in sub-Saharan Africa fell from 54.3% in 1990 to 41.0% in 2013, although the number of people living below the international poverty line has increased from 276 million in 1990 to 388.7 million people in 2013 (Anyanwu and Anyanwu, 2017). About 82% of the poor population live in rural areas, earning mainly from agriculture, rural poverty is notably greater in areas with high agricultural opportunities.
In Africa still have many conditions of malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surrounding, high infant mortality, and low life expectancy. A disease like the COVID-19 would increase such conditions further.
Deepa et al. (1999) collected in a book the voices of the poor and how they feel about poverty. A poor man from Kenya (1997) when says “Don’t ask me what poverty is because you have met it outside my house. Look at the house and count the number of holes. Look at my utensils and the clothes that I am wearing. Look at everything and write what you see. What you see is poverty”.
2.3.3. Case of South America (Focus on Brazil as an Example)
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Latin American countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, already faced political and economic crises in their territories, which manifested themselves mainly in the lives of the poorest. According to data from the World Bank (2017), despite the economic growth experienced by the Brazilian people in the last decade, Brazil's historical debt to the most fragile population keeps the nation in a condition of poverty. Poverty is its main characteristic, structural condition, which marks the unequal relations of income distribution among the population (Oliveira et al., 2017; Silva et al., 2017).
According to official information, in 2016, approximately 52 million people lived in Brazil in conditions of poverty, and 13.3 million lived in conditions of extreme poverty (IBGEa, 2017). With regard to inequality, currently, 1% of the Brazilian population enjoys 28% of the wealth available in the country (World Bank, 2017).
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE, 2020), shown regardless of the pandemic, in recent years Brazil has already been experiencing a strong economic crisis due to the political crisis it has undergone, marked by measures of the devaluation of public services, relaxation of labour laws, loss of rights and consequently layoffs, which favoured an increase in unemployment.
In evolutionary terms, World Bank data reveal that the proportion of poor people in Brazil grew from 25.7% in 2016 to 26.5% in 2017. Following this trend, the proportion of children and adolescents from 0 to 14 years old who had the US $ 5.5 per day went from 42.9% to 43.4% in that period.
In addition, South America, in general, failed to reduce the social inequality and the system clearly is working towards concentrating a large part of the wealth produced by the poor and the vulnerable. A similar example to Brazil in terms of social austerity policies and measures can be seen in Argentina. The significant increase in poverty, a super devaluation of the currency, high unemployment rates are worsening the poverty conditions.
2.3.4. Case of Europe (Focus on the EU Performance towards the Vulnerable as an Example)
Europe has been developing since its union. This is the result of various input factors, that raised the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of technological development and structural transformations. The most prevalent economic activity in the history of Europe to date is Trade. Although the European continent is believed to be among the wealthiest continents in the World. One of the most discussed topics in the EU parliament is poverty reduction. The 2008 economic crisis created a spike in the rate of poverty and inequality in Europe, which has already been considered as a major problem (Lecerf, 2016).
The EU (2010) defines poverty in a very different way from other world definitions. According to the European Union (EU, 2011), poverty is generally understood as relative poverty; a person or household is considered to be poor when their income and resources are lower than what is thought to be adequate or socially acceptable in the society (Council of Europe). Despite the fact that European countries tend to refer to poverty as relative, there are people living in absolute poverty in Europe.
According to The World Health Organization report from 2009, 25% of children were living in absolute poverty in southeastern Europe. The rate of poverty or social exclusion reached the lowest point in Europe in the year 2005. However, in the year 2017, 113 million people, 22.4% of the EU population were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. One in five people in the EU experienced at least one of the following three forms of poverty: monetary poverty, severe material deprivation or very low work intensity of their household (EUROSTAT, Europe 2020 indicators - poverty and social exclusion). The rate of poverty started to rise in the year 2009 caused by the 2008 economic crisis. More than 33 million people, 29.8% of all people at risk of poverty or social exclusion were affected by one or more forms of poverty at the same time; meanwhile 7 million people were affected by all three forms of poverty (European Union, 2019).

2.4. Estimating the Global Poverty Status Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Estimating how much global poverty will increase because of COVID-19 is challenging, due to the amount uncertainty that the next normal carries. Even if we try to do the estimation by using ‘general equilibrium models’ or by exploring what will happen if all countries’ growth rates decline a fixed amount, the outputs won’t be accurate. Thus, this paper would use the World Bank approach of household survey data and growth projections for 166 countries to forecast the new normal poverty. (Daniel et al., 2020).
In this regard, taking data from the latest year for which PovcalNet (an online tool provided by the World Bank for estimating global poverty) Daniel et al. (2020) has estimated poverty for a country and extrapolate forward using the growth projections from the recently launched World Economic Outlook. This approach assumes that countries’ growth accrues equally to everyone, or in other words, that COVID-19 does not change inequality within countries.
COVID-19 pandemic worsened the world capacity to eliminate poverty and returned it to the poverty alleviation stage. Figure (1) show the differentiation between the expected historical line of poverty elimination and the impact on this progress from the COVID-19.
Figure 1. The impact of COVID-19 on Global Poverty
With the new forecasts, Global Poverty- the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 per day- is projected to increase from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020 or from 632 million people to 665 million people. This means that COVID-19 is causing a change in 2020 of a Global Poverty rates of 0.7% points. This means that it is estimated that in the new normal, we should expect to see 49 million individuals pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 (Daniel et al., 2020).
COVID-19 crisis thus requires a dramatic expansion of social safety nets, specifically in developing countries, as soon as possible.

2.5. Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on the Poverty Communities

The consensus among most of the countries that the economic impact of the COVID-19 can be shown through three possible scenarios, the labour productivity shock, major impacts come from workers unable to do their job, resulting in an average decline in labour productivity of 1.4% during 2020.
The COVID-19 causes a total factor productivity shock which impacts are felt through a temporary paralysis of domestic canonic activity caused by disruptions to distribution channels, inability to provide inputs and services due to quarantine for workers and total factor productivity growth big enough to reduce global GDP by 1%. The last is the trade shock. In this case, the impacts are felt through international trade disruptions leading the cost of doing trade to increase by almost 5% on average and enough to provoke a global economic growth cost of 1% (Vos et al., 2020).
2.5.1. Asian Continent
India is a true representation of many developing countries in Asia, where lockdown is causing for them other life-threatening situations. Take, for example, the migrant workers. The Central government informed the Supreme Court that among 5 to 6 hundred thousand migrant labourers had to arduously walk to reach their villages. Several of them either died from the exhaustion of the inhumane journey or had been run over by vehicles. The plight of the workers vividly describes the divide between rural and urban India. Deccanherald (2020).
Due to the lack of employment, safe haven and food availability, the migrant workers needed to take the drastic measures to return to their villages. Thousands have been stuck at numerous railway and bus stations without transportation. In one very controversial instance, migrant labourers were collected and sprayed disinfectant through a pipe which might’ve caused problems to their immunity. HRW (2020).
The majority of the poor families in Asia lives in the slums. Slums have migrant workers who undertake both short and long duration movements to cities to look for higher wages and work opportunities. The work in an urban informal economy is intermittent, marked by low-skill requirements, low wages, severe competition, and constant job insecurity. Choudhry and Avinandan (2020).
Other categories at threat are the slums dwellers. India's 22% population lives in urban slums, which are characterized by acute poverty, over-crowding, unhealthy residing conditions, and a vulnerable urban public health setup. Concept of social distancing isn't always pragmatic in such conditions. One such example is the Dharavi slums of Mumbai.
The third category who are at great challenge during the pandemic lockdown is the daily wage earners. This category is the worst affected population because of the COVID-19 outbreak, due to loss of livelihood, they might run out of food. Most do not have bank accounts, although lots of people are benefitting through government schemes. Although these schemes are not reaching every household, so in order to get their daily commodities they have to go out and face the beatings of the local police, as the police were instructed to follow strict rules during the lockdown.
The fourth group you can see a lot in Asia and specifically India are the domestic helpers. Domestic work in India falls underneath the category of unregulated and informally paid work. Most of the home employees do no longer have any settlement with their employers. This leaves them at the mercy of the employer who may choose to pay or deny paying at some point of unpaid leave. Due to lockdown most of the home helpers are out of a job, accordingly without livelihood even to meet their basic needs.
Due to the lockdown, schools which supplied the ‘mid-day meal’ remained close. This affected another group that is children in many poverty and lower-middle-class communities where they are dependent on their one ‘constant’ meal. Due to the lack of useful resource and proper connectivity, these children are unable to study through online classes and are being deprived of their right to education. Chotiner (2020).
The last group of importance in this lockdown is the farmers. Due to the lockdown, demands in the market have decreased drastically. As an instance, in the state of Assam, has triggered problems for the farmers. 75% of Assam's 3.10 crore population depends on agriculture - making farming the primary source of income for its residents. The state produces tons of kilograms of vegetables each spring, but now has relied on restricted agricultural farming. As a result, the farmers had to give up their crops due to the lockdown period. Already many farmers have to pay back agriculture loan, which makes their living in the next normal to be very difficult.
The other group that is highly affected by India lockdown is the 60 million people working on the entertainment industry. Most of these people are without any source of income during the lockdown. Ten million people are directly impacted by it and are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Chotiner (2020).
2.5.2. African Continent
By Mid of April 2020, COVID-19 arrived at all almost all the African countries. The new coronavirus pandemic has a significant impact even in a fast-emerging country like Ghana that has seen almost 1000+ reported cases by early April. The short, medium and long-term economic cost have not been fully elucidated.
To prevent the spread of the virus, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa had to follow the example of other continents and curb their countries. However, the consequences of the blockade are some of the worst actions one could take in countries where the majority live and survive from day- to-day. The blockade has left the high poverty Sub-Saharan Africa more vulnerable. Many street vendors and daily wage earners are not finding any means for survival. Although the blockade was necessary for many countries, many questions arose, indeed one of them is: how do workers with daily wages make a living? (African Union, 2020)
In Africa, the virus has spread to dozens of countries within weeks. Governments and health officials across the continent are striving to limit widespread infections” (WHO, 2020). Many countries in Africa, in an attempt to protect their citizens from COVID-19, have ordered the complete blocking of all social, economic and social activities, but this will not favour the poor majority who leave Africa, as it depends mainly on a daily wage to survive. It is in light of this that Dr. Tedros, director of the world health organization, commented on his Twitter account about the government of Nigeria that plans to extend its blocking period by saying: “while covid19 accelerates very fast, it accelerates very slowly. This applies especially to countries with large poor populations, where house orders and other restrictions used in some high-income countries may not be practical ”. (Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 2020).
In the Republic of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, with more than 200 million inhabitants and like many other sub-Saharan countries, the COVID-19 pandemic would hit hard all the poverty alleviation effort. The country has just started seriously to diversify its economy from the oil and gas sector to a more labour-intensive sector, and despite that Nigeria has Africa's largest economy (domestic product per capita, US $ 2,028, 2018), more than double that of its neighbouring countries, Chad, Benin and Niger, it has a very high number of people living in poverty. This is just an example of how a disease would hit badly any country in Africa.
Though the current mortality rate is 3.6%, the disease has been shown to cause significant morbidity in patients above the age of 60 and those with underlying chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes and asthma. For those over the age of 70, 21.9% (2 in 10) of confirmed cases lose their lives (Worldometter, 2020).
Personal hygiene, proper handwashing, the regular use of sanitizers and the avoidance of crowded spaces are effective means of minimizing the risk of infection and person to person transmission. Major multinationals have had to significantly alter their work patterns to minimize the spread of the disease, and large cities and countries have been put in lockdown mode. (CDD-Ghana, 2020). However, the most devastating impact is the negative socio-economic impact on the livelihood of the poor. To fight this negative economic impact of COVID 19 the international organisations, including the African Union, need to develop various programs that can ensure food supplement, medical help, financial support as well as social help, are available to all the vulnerable population in Africa.
2.5.3. South American Continent
In the American continent, the political instability marks and the different scenario of confrontation between left and right wings in major countries as Brazil and Argentina have created more poverty. However, after the COVID-19 hit the continent, more immediate support for the poor and emphasis for social isolation were directly implemented.
The President of Brazil assumed a negationist stance, minimizing the effects of the virus (Alessi, 2020). This is maybe due to having high number of vulnerable people, unemployed, informal workers, etc.
Thus, the COVID-19 has revealed the technical and ethical fragility of the government, since the economic team needed weeks to install policies to guarantee a minimum income for the poorest people. Ethical fragility since the government expresses its inability to manage, to lead teams in times of crisis, to build actions in order to promote positive results for all involved. It is evident the ability of managers to potentiate chaos, to transform what is bad into something worse, this ability is clear in the actions and behaviours of members of the government, whether they belong to the lowest level to the highest level, such as the president of the republic (Arias, 2020).
Macedo et al. (2020) and Platero and Gomes (2020) present a retrospective of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. The restrictive measures adopted by the Brazilian government, such as Surveillance, Laboratory support, Infection control measures, Assistance, Pharmaceutical assistance, Health Surveillance - Health measures at entry points, risk communication and management are good, but the challenges of the poor go beyond this. The Macedo team highlight the lack of basic sanitation for a good part of the poor Brazilian population, making many of these restrictive measures unfeasible or less effective.
The lack of clarity in communication within the government and between the government and the population, the manipulation by the press of information leaving the poor population confused and more vulnerable than it naturally is, makes the challenge imposed by the coronavirus pandemic on the Brazilian population greater than it is in many countries (Jimenez & Mendonça, 2020).
It is in this scenario that South America encounters obstacles to overcome the pandemic, not only due to the poverty of nations in the sense of lack of money, but also, due to their ability to manage crises, to consistently deal with a public health problem, which currently exposes the weaknesses inherent in the race for neoliberal policies in developing countries.
2.5.4. European Continent
Despite their developed healthcare system, Europeans see that COVID - 19 pandemic as an unexpected health emergency had a strong impact on the healthcare system and economies in certain European regions. Furthermore, household incomes, employment, and welfare were impacted (European Commission, 2020). The high number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Europe had negative effects on production networks, a significant reduction on agricultural activities, tourism, trade and industry. European stock markets have fallen around 30% compared to the middle of February.
According to data from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), at least one million people lost their jobs in two weeks; that number could be far higher considering there are many European who work as freelancers and workers without contracts. Therefore, all countries in Europe are looking into strategies to ease the current economic crisis. EU leaders have discussed phasing out measures and the recovery strategy from the economic crisis caused by COVID 19. The European Council pointed out the four priorities: the functioning of the internal market; a massive investment strategy; the EU's external actions and the EU's resilience and governance.
Along with the European Commission, many non-profit organizations are helping those who are most vulnerable during the time of the pandemic. The European Union had approached the crisis caused by COVID 19 with many tools to minimize the negative consequences of the pandemic by introducing measures to support the citizens, companies, and economies of member countries (European Commission, 2020).

2.6. Capacity of the Poor in Applying Social Distancing

Acciari (2020) points out the difficulty for the poor in acquiring essential personal protection products such as gloves, masks and alcohol gel, let alone applying social distancing. Ahmed (2020) highlights the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic since the poor are more prone to mortality due to their precarious conditions of subsistence.
The world economic scenario and the rising unemployment rates, besides and the saturation of ‘collective health’ makes sustaining social distancing in poverty communities luxurious and impossible. Such repercussions may be perceived by people of all social classes, both in economically advanced countries and in those with a higher level of extreme poverty, such as India. Having health professionals overwhelmed would create a further shortage of healthcare services in the poverty communities.
Tsai and Tsai (2020) explores the economic and social problems in North America, mainly in the USA and Canada. The authors state that vulnerable populations such as the homeless, who live or depend on shelters to live or to feed themselves, can be penalized with local restriction policies. For this reason, for them, the restrictive contagion policies of COVID-19 must be comprehensive, considering the countless situations to which the poorest are exposed; otherwise, the pandemic crisis will be aggravated by social problems.

3. Methodology

3.1. Introduction to Integrative Review (IR) Method

Integrative review (IR) has an international reputation in evidence-based practice. IR is a review that goes beyond the analysis and synthesis of findings from primary studies allowing exploiting other research dimensions. Thus, IR help to develop new theories or new problems for research from secondary data. The method IR help to bring a systematic method to ensure the required rigour scientific research. Crossetti (2012).
The production of IR focus on systematic literature reviews which focus on retrieving knowledge regarding a certain phenomenon under study enables critical summaries of studies on a topic as poverty in COVID-19 to be contextualized to define the study problem. It is restricted to relevant studies that point to new data related to the study goals.
An integrative review allows for general conclusions about the research problem while trying to answer a specific question and assessing the knowledge that already has been produced. The question is divided on what is known? What must be known? Thus, once the problem is formulated, the data collection or definitions for the literature review would be defined. Till a synthesis is done followed by result presentation and interpretation.

3.2. Integrative Review Guiding Question

The main research question of this integrative review is ‘What is the impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on global poverty?’

3.3. Study Design Strategy

This review framework was based on holistic, integrative review methods, proposed by Crossetti (2012). This method allows the development of a comprehensive analysis of the body of literature of both quantitative and qualitative research. Thus, it provides a complete assessment associated with the research question or topic aimed to address.
A literature search was performed in [Insert Date of Search] using the following electronic databases: EMBASE, LILACS. In addition, we assessed the first 1,000 records from Google Scholar. A sequence of medical subheading terms and keywords were utilized in the search strategy (Supplemental material), which was developed by an experienced information specialist.

3.4. Study Eligibility Criteria

Study selection (title and abstract screening as well as full-text screening) and data extraction were carried out independently by two review authors. Any conflict was resolved by a third reviewer. To be included in this review, each record had to: 1. Have an abstract available; and 2. Be published in Portuguese, English or Spanish; and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the population under poor settings 3. Studies that did not emphasize its analysis of economically vulnerable populations were excluded.

3.5. Data Synthesis and Quality Assessment

It was decided to carry out a descriptive analysis of the recovered records, in which the main thematic groups were identified according to the topics described in each included study. The extracted data were synthesized in the results and discussion. However, studies were not quality assessed due to the fact that all included studies were narrative and were highly likely to be affected by the beliefs of the original authors and considered personal.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1. The New Normal Wave of Poverty Due to COVID-19

This review raises interest in understanding the socio-economic status of poverty communities and the most models that would help to prevent them during a pandemic similar to COVID-19. The critical challenge for poverty is that it has rarely been approached from a multi-diversity and multi-disciplinary approach, Buheji and Ahmed (2019) and World Bank (2015).
The pandemic of the COVID-19 might be an opportunity to focus on the psychological influence of poverty and how it deprives the poor while they are striving to explore chances of life and to use their limited available assets. As we are entering the new normal, the COVID-19 crisis might open opportunities to see the hidden capacity of the poor and to develop their intrinsic resources, (Buheji, 2019c; Schilbach et al., 2016).
With the presence of a life-threatening disease as the COVID-19, the worries there might be more acceptance to the spread of poverty situations as the mindset gradually adapts to seeing many places of the world living such a deprived condition. (Buheji, 2019a).
As we enter the new normal, the era after the pandemic, the world is expected to experience more relative poverty and situational poverty, even in rich developing countries. These two types of poverty can be seen in the transformation period to the new normal.
The occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic is making more people trapped to more in the lower side of the middle class with turbulent and multi-source causalities that make the people feel they are unable to get out of their miserable situation.

4.2. COVID-19 and the Disparity between Social Classes

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the disparity between social classes. There are many cases that show the transmission of illness from the employer to the worker. More transmission occurs in domestic workers and due to the use of public transportation. Acciari (2020) the measure of COVID-19 social isolation showed the segregation between the social classes, since the possibility of isolating oneself in very spacious and well-maintained homes clashes with the reality of the majority of the population living in small environments, sharing space with countless people is not realistic.
Krishnakumar and Rana (2020) expose the impossibility of social distancing for people who do not have formal employment contracts. In addition, the authors claim that the Indian population has not yet become aware of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. They warn of the need for immediate government measures to minimize economic impacts, in addition to ensuring access to hygiene materials recommended by the World Health Organization: masks, soaps, disinfectants, etc.

4.3. Political Response to COVID-19 and the Extent of Vulnerability

The Lancet highlights that in times of pandemic, the concept of vulnerability depends on the political response implemented. Economic consequences such as the sudden loss of income, or lack of social support impose dramatic consequences on the life of any family. In this way, the vulnerability would include not only the elderly, but also people with comorbidities or homelessness. It would go beyond that, as those groups with serious difficulties in facing this pandemic crisis would need to be considered.

5. Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1. COVID-19 as a New Source of Poverty Creation

The COVID-19 had a strong impact on both developed and fragile economies, leaving the biggest negative effects on production networks, a significant reduction on agricultural activities, tourism, trade and industry. In rich developed countries as the European continent, the fear is about the long-term economic consequences leaving millions of people without jobs. The phasing out of the European Commission measures is meant to help set up recovery strategies for the lockdown caused by COVID-19 which hopefully should put for the most vulnerable as a priority. Till the moment of writing this paper, this is not clear.
To minimize the economic crisis, the world should aim to overcome the negative impacts of COVID -19 by concentrating first on the poverty communities.

5.2. COVID-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity for More Robust Health System for the Poor

This pandemic brought many health systems to test. It tested their equality fitness and their capacity to serve the poor as the rich. Hence, it represents a great opportunity for building more robust health systems for the poor.
Taking into account the amount of the social changes imposed by the pandemic, the world is entering a new normal. This is a great opportunity to improve the measures that help the poorest people to be live healthy. A good model for this is the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS), which built-in immediate expansion of income redistribution in an effective way, among them the Bolsa Família. This scheme granted expansion and emergency payments for the unemployed or those previously performing their duties in informal jobs.

5.3. Final Recommendations

In any kind of national or international crisis, it is always the poor and underprivileged that suffers the most. Their issues get neglected by the rest of the people or from the authorities, which results in starvation, health and livelihood deterioration and even deaths due to starvation or famine. As many developing countries have quite a lot to do for the people near or below the poverty line before the COVID-19 pandemic, special guidelines for future lockdown and national emergency should be designed to ensure it addresses the essential needs of the underprivileged.
Governments and the World Health Organisation should ensure that the poor will not worry about their next meal or whether they could survive the lockdown than to survive the pandemic.
The limitation of this research is that it does not include all the poor communities of the world and does not cover all the suffering of the poor during the COVID-19 lockdown. Also, due to the scope of the paper and limitation of time, the study avoided comparison with the historical data that shows how the poor suffered in previous pandemics or plague. The implication of this study is that it sets the basis for future guidelines that would address the socio-economic needs of the under-privileged during future global or national emergencies or pandemics.


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