More than 56,000 children in Asia will die as a result of the economic crisis gripping the world economy, the Asian Development Bank said on Sunday.
The sliding growth rate will bring "serious economic and social impacts in the region," ADB Managing Director General Rajat Nag said on the sidelines of the bank's annual governors' meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
"We are pretty set on the seriousness of the social impact of the crisis, and, as we said earlier, this is not only a financial crisis but also a social crisis," he added.
"In developing Asian countries outside Japan, our estimate shows that because of the declining economic growth, it will bring serious economic and social impacts in the region causing over 56,000 children to die in the region," he said.
Nag cited a World Bank report which estimated that 400,000 children will die worldwide from the impact of the financial crisis.
"No matter how many thousands it will be, we consider every one more child is too much," Nag said.
The global economic slowdown, which initially looked as if it might leave Asia relatively unscathed, has begun to bite hard.
In its Asian Development Outlook survey in March, the bank said that the region's developing economies would expand by just 3.4 percent this year, down from 6.3 percent last year and 9.5 percent in 2007.