Social Protection Responses to COVID crisis: webinar in Kyrgyzstan

ILO DWT/CO has launched a series of webinars for technical experts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) and the Social Fund of the Kyrgyz Republic based on their request for technical assistance to mitigate the impact of COVID19 crisis on workers (in formal and informal economy) and their families. Two other components of ILO’s technical assistance include: rapid labour market assessment and support to occupational health and safety and labour inspections.

News | 29 April 2020

The Government estimates that additional 1 – 1. 8 million people will require social support as a consequence of crisis. Among them are 24,3 per cent of the workforce considered working poor and estimated 71 per cent of all employed who are working in informal economy. Given the increasing share of population affected by the lockdown and diminished opportunities to earn incomes, MLSD and Social Fund are exploring the options to meet the needs of most disadvantaged population.

Overall objectives of technical assistance include support for: re-design social protection programmes to be able to respond to the needs of impacted groups of population; rapid costing for redesigned programmes; identification of areas in social protection that need medium/longer term solutions; design of costed policy options to support re-design of programmes.
The first Webinar, Social Protection Responses to COVID crisis, was held on 29 April 2020 for heads of departments and technical staff of MLSD and representatives of Social Fund. It was attended by 13 participants. Ms. Jasmina Papa, Social Protection Specialist, DWT/CO-Moscow, and  Mr. Sergio Vekasco, Social Security Economist, SOCPRO, ILO Geneva, presented   representative overview of social protection measures introduced  by 125 countries. Examples included Hong Kong that introduced temporary quasi universal benefit for all residents above the age of 18; Spain, Georgia and Kazakhstan that extended coverage with unemployment benefits to workers who were previously not insured, Turkey temporarily increased pension and many others.

These examples served to discuss: options for re-design considered by MLSD and Social Fund; prioritised groups of population and possibilities/challenges to identify ‘new’ vulnerable groups of population; identify specific technical tools required by MLSD.

Ms Valeria Nesterenko Data Specialist, ILO Geneva, presented ILO Social protection COVID monitoring tool which contains responses introduced worldwide. As of February 1, 125 countries introduced 646 measures. Protection in case of unemployment, income protection, support for housing and additional allowances make half of all measures introduced worldwide to cope with the impact of COVID -19.
Three more webinars will be organized by the ILO DWT/CO in the nearest future in the framework of re-design and costing of social protection programmes to respond to the impact of COVID crisis in Kyrgyz Republic.