GCSPF Newsletter #34 – April 2020 - COVID-19

e-GCSPF # 34 - April 2020 - COVID-19

Putting people first – 12 governments show the world how to protect lives, jobs and incomes


New ITUC analysis of government responses from 69 countries to the COVID-19 pandemic has identified 12 governments which are putting people first as they tackle the economic fallout from lockdown measures to stem the spread of the virus.
Argentina, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the UK are the first 12 governments that have put in place policies to protect lives, jobs and incomes.
These 12 countries set a standard on what governments could provide for workers that need to be emulated by many more governments around the world. There are still significant gaps in some of the countries, and the unions are pressing for these gaps to be filled,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary. Read more


What’s the action out there? Findings from updated paper on country responses


A total of 84 countries have introduced or adapted social protection and jobs programs in response to COVID-19. This is an 87% increase since last week (when countries were just 45), with a total of 283 programs currently in place – a fitting testament to the dynamism of pandemic-related responses in the sector!
Among classes of interventions, social assistance (non-contributory transfers) is the most widely used (including a total of 150 programs), followed by actions in social insurance (91) and supply-side labor market interventions (42). Within social assistance, cash transfer programs are clearly the most widely used intervention by governments (over one-third of total programs, and 65% of social assistance schemes). A total of 58 countries have those programs in place, with 35 of them representing new initiatives introduced specifically as COVID-19 response. Read more


The global corona crisis - A summary of key policy mappings and databases


In addition to the health aspects of the virus, the global coronavirus crisis also has financial, socio-economic and developmental consequences. For this reason, a large number of policy measures have been announced by governments and international organizations, on the one hand to contain the pandemic, on the other to mitigate the economic consequences.
These measures contain for example fiscal stimulus and aid packages of various shapes and sizes, intended to cushion the serious economic and social consequences of the coronavirus outbreak worldwide. The main target groups of planned loans and cash injections are the healthcare system, as well as larger banks and companies. However, some strategies are also aimed at small and medium-sized companies as well as groups of individuals, their savings, private pensions and other private assets. Read more


Almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19


An initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work says the effects will be far-reaching, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and proposes measures for a decisive, co-ordinated and immediate response.
The economic and labour crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million, according to a new assessment by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Read more


Guidelines on administering pension payments and key messages for older people during COVID-19


While the COVID-19 virus can be dangerous for everyone, initial evidence shows that older people, and those with underlying health conditions, are at a heightened risk of getting seriously ill or dying from the virus.
HelpAge International has worked with health and ageing experts from the University of East Anglia and South Africa’s Samson Institute for Ageing Research (SIFAR) to develop two resources to be shared with governments, network members, partners and anyone working with older people, pensions or social protection in general:
1. Guidelines on administering pension payments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Key messages for older people on the collection of pensions payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection

Civil society organizations and trade unions unite to call for a Global Fund for Social Protection to protect the most vulnerable during COVID-19 and beyond.

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Civil society organizations and trade unions call governments and international financial institutions to make a commitment to create social security systems that enable everyone to realize their rights. Governments and financial institutions should end policies that have been failing millions of people.
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SP&PFM Programme

The programme Improving Synergies Between Social Protection and Public Finance Management provided medium-term support to multiple countries aiming to strengthen their social protection systems at a national level and ensure sustainable financing. The programme aimed to support countries in their efforts towards achieving universal social protection coverage.

This initiative was implemented jointly by the ILO, Unicef, and the GCSPF.

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