The $1.19 trillion USD lost to the global economy due to illiteracy dubbed "the hidden impact of the pandemic."

BY PR Newswire | ECONOMIC | 09/07/22 05:18 PM EDT

In the United States the cost of illiteracy is $300.80 billion

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On International Literacy Day (September 8 2022) a new report has highlighted the economic cost and social impact of a spike in illiteracy rates due to the disruption in children's education caused by the pandemic.

World Literacy Foundation (WLF) CEO Andrew Kay said, "The study finds that children from low-income homes are those most impacted in a post-pandemic environment. With gaps in their reading development, many children face lifelong illiteracy without effective intervention".

Released today on International Literacy Day to highlight the impact of illiteracy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation's report titled "The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy" says illiteracy is costing the global economy $1.19 trillion USD. Report available here:

Mr Kay said, "illiteracy traps young people in an endless cycle of poverty and life-long hardship, often unable to fill out a form, read a street sign or a medicine label".

"The problem of illiteracy is often hidden by the person yet linked to numerous negative social and financial outcomes".

"Globally, almost 770 million people can't read a single word and another 2 billion people struggle to read a sentence.

As we observe International Literacy Day 2022, we must hold our political leaders to account, asking that they urgently remedy these catastrophic statistics.

"In both developing and developed countries, illiteracy is ruining lives and is linked with an array of poor life outcomes, such as poverty, inequity, unemployment, social exclusion, crime and long-term illness.

"We need to understand that early intervention can avert a lifetime of hardship, poverty and pain for a child, young person or adult who is struggling to read or write.

"Rapid change in digital technology is changing the landscape and ability of the populations in the poorest countries to learn to read and write. New and exciting opportunities are opening almost every day," Mr Kay concluded.

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SOURCE World Literacy Foundation

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