In written statements (International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee) to the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), Ryder described the human dimension of the pandemic as devastating, and its combined health, social and economic effects as the worst crisis since the Second World War.
He urged the IMF and WB to focus their response on “providing immediate relief to workers and enterprises in order to protect businesses and livelihoods, particularly in hard-hit sectors and in developing countries”. He said priority attention should be given to the impact on smaller enterprises, unprotected workers, and those in the informal economy.
The crisis has uncovered the huge decent work deficits that still prevail in 2020 and shown how vulnerable millions of working people are when a crisis hits."Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
Ryder urged the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee (DC) to put their weight behind four inter-related policy responses.
Firstly, stimulating the economy and demand for labour by using available fiscal and monetary tools and debt relief. Public investment in health systems would be doubly effective as a crucial contribution to beating the pandemic and creating decent jobs.
Secondly, providing immediate assistance to sustain enterprises, preserve jobs and support incomes. In this context, Ryder highlighted the particular need to invest in social protection measures, which can help mitigate the worst shocks of the crisis while acting as an economic stabiliser.
Thirdly, ensuring adequate protection for all those who continue to work during the crisis. That requires guarantees for safety and health in the workplace, properly designed work arrangements such as teleworking, and access to sick pay.
Fourthly, making full use of social dialogue between governments, and workers and employers’ organisations, which has a proven record of generating effective, practical, and equitable solutions to the type of challenges now confronting the world of work.
We must aim to build back better so that our new systems are safer, fairer and more sustainable than those that allowed this crisis to happen, and more effective in cushioning the consequences of future crises on people around the globe."Guy Ryder
The crisis has shown that habits and behaviours can change, said Ryder, pointing to the potential 4 per cent fall in global carbon emissions in 2020 because of the lockdown.
“We must aim to build back better so that our new systems are safer, fairer and more sustainable than those that allowed this crisis to happen, and more effective in cushioning the consequences of future crises on people around the globe,” he concluded.