Launch of the World Bank Group and ILO Universal Social Protection Initiative, calling for universal social protection policies and financing

On June 30th, the World Bank Group and the ILO launched a joint mission and plan of action:  Universal social protection to ensure that no one is left behind.

Universal coverage and access to social protection are central to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank Group's twin goals by 2030. Universal social protection coverage is at the core of the ILO’s mandate, guided by its standards including the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, No. 202, adopted by 185 states in 2012.

For the World Bank Group and the ILO, universal social protection refers to the integrated set of policies designed to ensure income security and support to all people across the life cycle – paying particular attention to the poor and the vulnerable.  Anyone who needs social protection should be able to access it.

Since the 2000s, universality has re-entered the development agenda. First it was education: universal primary education became a Millennium Development Goal in 2000. In 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing universal health coverage. Now it is time for universal social protection.

A joint programme of action to increase the number of countries adopting Universal Social Protection: the World Bank Group and the ILO shared objective is to increase the number of countries that provide universal social protection, supporting countries to design and implement universal and sustainable social protection systems. There are many paths towards universal social protection. It belongs to each country to choose its own, and to opt for the means and methods that best suit its circumstances.

Many countries have embarked on expanding social protection coverage and are reporting significant progress. Yet, the vast majority of the world’s population is still far from enjoying adequate protection. It is time to take determined and innovative steps to trigger change on a larger scale.

Read the concept note: The World Bank Group and ILO Universal Social Protection Initiative here.

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