Social protection

Measuring financing gaps in social protection for achieving SDG target 1.3: Global estimates and strategies for developing countries

Social security is a human right but it is not yet a reality. Only 45 per cent of the global population are effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 55 per cent – as many as 4 billion people – are unprotected. Closing the coverage gap will require additional investments in social protection, which can and should be achieved by increasing the “fiscal space” for social protection.

The International Labour Organization estimates that in low-income, lower middle-income and middle-income countries, a social protection floor package, excluding health, would cost 2.4 per cent of their GDP on average. However, some of those countries have already established some guarantees of a social protection floor.

This study aims to calculate what additional investment would be required to establish a social protection floor in all countries and reach SDG target 1.3 by 2030. It also measures incremental financing needs to illustrate how existing gaps can be closed progressively to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2030. Finally, it analyses potential sources of financing to create the additional fiscal space needed.