This document provides the first comprehensive analysis of the pandemic’s toll on poverty in developing countries. It identifies how governments can optimize fiscal policy to help correct course. Fiscal policies offset the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in many high-income countries, but those policies offset barely one quarter of the pandemic’s impact in low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries. Improving support to households as crises continue will require reorienting protective spending away from generally regressive and inefficient subsidies and toward a direct transfer support system—a first key priority. Reorienting fiscal spending toward supporting growth is a second key priority identified by the report. Some of the highest-value public spending often pays out decades later. Amid crises, it is difficult to protect such investments, but it is essential to do so. Finally, it is not enough just to spend wisely - when additional revenue does need to be mobilized, it must be done in a way that minimizes reductions in poor people’s incomes. The report highlights how exploring underused forms of progressive taxation and increasing the efficiency of tax collection can help in this regard. Poverty and Shared Prosperity is a biennial series that reports on global trends in poverty and shared prosperity. Each report also explores a central challenge to poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity, assessing what works well and what does not in different settings. By bringing together the latest evidence, this corporate flagship report provides a foundation for informed advocacy around ending extreme poverty and improving the lives of the poorest in every country in the world. For more information, please visit worldbank.org/poverty-and-shared-prosperity.