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Publication | 2021

What's next for social protection in light of COVID-19: country responses

The wide-ranging consequences of the COVID-19 crisis have had a huge impact on the world of social protection. The importance of providing comprehensive and adequate social protection benefits to all has become more evident than ever. The pandemic has alerted national governments and the international community to the urgency of accelerating progress in building and expanding social protection systems and programmes to leave no one behind. Governments across the globe have mobilised a huge number of resources and effort to protect those who have been most affected by the crisis. So far, countries with more solid social protection foundations have been able to respond more rapidly and efficiently.

In this context, from 5 to 8 October 2020, the team organised a global e-conference titled ‘Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection?’.

Given the success of the e-conference and to further disseminate its key discussions, the platform and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) have developed two special issues of Policy in Focus.

This first issue focuses on experiences from countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the overall lessons for the future, including shock-responsive and universal social protection.

The second issue provides a thematic focus, delving in more depth into the main topics discussed during the round tables, such as financing, universal basic income, linkages to food security and employment, as well as gender-, child- and disability-sensitive programmes, among others.