When we consider the COVID-19 pandemic and everything left in its path of destruction, it has arguably left one of its greatest impacts on global poverty rates. As The World Bank reported, the number of extreme poverty reached less than 10% of the global population in 2017, but it is now expected to increase by 150 million by 2021. This unfortunate increase calls for immediate U.S. action to ensure that years of progress in reducing global poverty are not reversed.
One such measure, the COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act, has been introduced in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It would emulate the CARES Act, passed by the House in March, but at a global level. While the bill has been cosponsored by 11 senators since introduction in May, this is short of what is needed prior to the end of 2020. Letting this bill fall through the cracks to the next cycle will inevitably have dire impacts on the world’s extreme poor, but also on the global economic successes of the U.S. for years to come.