At the beginning of 2020, an estimated 600 million people around the world live in extreme poverty. The World Bank projects up to 150 million more people could be forced into extreme poverty because of the effects of COVID-19. While emergency response efforts have helped to mitigate economic shocks, it is crucial that we equip people with the tools and resilience they need to lift themselves out of poverty for the long-term.
While people living in poverty have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on girls. In Bangladesh, school closures are putting girls at risk of violence, child marriage, and dropping out of school. Recent BRAC data from Bangladesh shows a 69 percent rise in reported child marriages in 2020.
The numbers are alarming, but according to Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh, the impact could be even greater. “This is just a glimpse of the societal disruption that COVID-19 has brought on. An immediate, concerted effort toward socioeconomic recovery ... is critical to prevent child marriage; otherwise, we will fall behind on the progress we have made so far."
BRAC is helping girls pave the way for a brighter future by ensuring that girls everywhere can enjoy the rights, opportunities, and education that they deserve. Investing in the next generation and empowering girls with hope for the future must be a priority now more than ever. Thank you for your generous support of girls and other vulnerable groups around the world.
Learn more about BRAC’s response to COVID-19.