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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, social protection systems in the Arab region were weak, fragmented, not inclusive, and non-transparent. They were also costly and unsustainable. Underinvestment in these systems and exclusion of vulnerable populations were key challenges. The COVID-19 crisis spotlighted the problems and presented a historic opportunity to address some of the challenges facing social protection systems. Lessons learned in various countries were identified as useful examples for change, in addition to certain innovations. This report embarked on actionable policy research to examine and assess the interplay of the social policy dimensions, global experiences, and regional responses to the pandemic in the Arab region. By critically engaging with the actions and priorities of a variety of stakeholders, the report develops and advocates for policies for the judicious and methodical implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, combating inequality and supporting the principle of leaving no one behind, as instigated in the Agenda 2030.
Lena Gronbach; Jeremy Seekings; Vayda Megannon
Rebecca Holmes; Abigail Hunt
The impacts of the Covid-19 crisis have exacerbated gender inequalities. The rapid onset of the crisis in early 2020 severely disrupted livelihoods, and these impacts were strongly mediated by existing gender inequalities in the labour market, gendered roles and responsibilities around care work, and also household composition, with women shouldering disproportionate burden of the crisis. This paper examines the extent to which social protection responses to the crisis have recognised and addressed the gendered impacts of the crisis. Drawing on case studies from South Africa and Kerala, India, the paper looks at the design and implementation features of the social protection response from a gender perspective, and offers policy recommendations for strengthening gender in social protection and crisis response in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents an enormous challenge for all countries due to its public health consequences and socio-economic effects on families. In this difficult context, the Latin America and the Caribbean region is facing the largest displacement in its recent history, with approximately 4.2 million Venezuelans now living in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. This migrant population faces various risks, whether linked to the migration process or their migratory status, or others that were aggravated by the health emergency. Their extreme vulnerability to the socioeconomic impacts of the measures adopted in response to COVID-19, given their overrepresentation in the informal sector of the economy, coupled with their low inclusion in social protection mechanisms, profoundly jeopardizes their welfare and compromises public health as well as the overall well-being of local populations. Faced with this scenario, social protection may play a fundamental role in reducing the vulnerabilities of migrants and in helping to mitigate the impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ugo Gentilini; Mohamed Almenfi; Pamela Dale
Liliana Marcos Barba; Hilde van Regenmortel; Ellen Ehmke
As 2020 draws to a close, the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Without urgent action, global poverty and inequality will deepen dramatically. Hundreds of millions of people have already lost their jobs, gone further into debt or skipped meals for months. Research by Oxfam and Development Pathways shows that over 2 billion people have had no support from their governments in their time of need. This study shows that none of the social protection support to those who are unemployed, elderly people, children and families provided in low- and middle-income countries has been adequate to meet basic needs. 41% of that government support was only a one-off payment and almost all government support has now stopped. Decades of social policy focused on tiny levels of means-tested support have left most countries completely unprepared for the COVID-19 economic crisis. Yet, countries such as South Africa and Bolivia have shown that a universal approach to social protection is affordable, and that it has a profound impact on reducing inequality and protecting those who need it most.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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