About 100 million people living in cities worldwide will likely fall into poverty due to the coronavirus pandemic, urban experts said on Wednesday, calling for mapping tools to identify vulnerable communities and investment focusing on slums.

Densely populated cities are at the front line of the contagious outbreak. People living in poverty with little or no running water, sewage systems or health care access have been hit especially hard, said experts at the World Bank, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and other groups studying urban issues.

"Within cities we need to focus on those who need help the most, the poor and the vulnerable have been very seriously affected," said Sameh Wahba, global director for the World Bank's urban, disaster risk management, resilience and land global practice.