Many developing countries have large populations at risk of falling into chronic poverty due to threats to their health and livelihoods. Despite global poverty reduction over recent decades, many remain near-poor, and an episode of ill health or job loss can plunge a household into poverty. The coronavirus pandemic threatens to send tens of millions of people around the world below the poverty line. Some countries are especially unprepared to protect their people from health and economic shocks. They should focus on reforms to improve access to health care, secure work, and opportunities for social mobility.

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