BackgroundFor the first time in 20 years, the number of people living in poverty globally is expected to rise due to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 100 million people will have been pushed into extreme income poverty by end of 2021. Following the pandemic, up to 10 years of progress in reducing multidimensional poverty are threatened to be reversed, a concern exacerbated by the emerging challenge of climate change.
Recent analysis shows how distant many countries were from sufficiently facing poverty and inequality caused by the pandemic, due to fiscal and other limitations. Only a small group of countries, mostly high income, seem to have been up to the challenge. Data speak for themselves: According to the ILO World Social Protection Report 2020-22, 47 percent of the global population are covered by at least one social protection benefit, while roughly 4.1 billion people (53 percent) do not have access to even one social protection benefit. COVID-19 made it impossible for policymakers to ignore the “missing middle” and unpaid carers. The ILO Convention 102 and Recommendation 202 on social protection floors, as well as the Recommendation R205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience provide a strong foundation to overcome this gap, building on social dialogue and ratification by Countries.
By 2030, up to two-thirds of the world's extreme poor is expected to live in countries characterized by fragility, conflict, and violence. According to the new Special Report on Human Security, nearly 1.2 billion people live in conflict-affected areas, with 560 million of them in countries not typically classified as fragile. Nearly half the global poor live in conflict-affected countries. Unless we take urgent action to protect the most vulnerable, several sustainable development goals could be reversed.
The eventOn 23 May 2022, the ILO and UNDP held a joint technical session titled “Mechanisms for Social Protection and Local Recovery” at the World Reconstruction Conference 5 (WRC5), under the central theme “Reconstructing for a sustainable future: Building resilience through recovery in a COVID-19 transformed world”. The WRC5 is organized in conjunction with the 7th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (23-28 May 2022, Bali, Indonesia) and is aligned with its thematic focus From risk to resilience: Towards sustainable development for all in a COVID-19 transformed world.
The ILO-UNDP session shed light on how, given the need to rapidly provide assistance to those in need (often previously uncovered by social protection) and at the same time comply with social distancing measures, countries had to be innovative in terms of the design, implementation and financing of social protection measures in response to COVID-19. The session also looked at how countries can institutionalize the advances made and build on them towards the establishment of robust, inclusive, and shock and gender responsive social protection systems, that can also ensure a just transition to resilient, green and sustainable economies.
The event opened with a keynote speech by Ms. Michiko Miyamoto, Director of the ILO Country Office for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, which highlighted the role of social protection systems in responding to and recovering from the pandemic, and the importance of integrated policy solutions on social protection, employment and climate change for building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.
The speakersKeynote speaker: Ms. Michiko Miyamoto, Director, ILO Country Office for Indonesia and Timor-Leste
- Ms. Carmen Ubaldi, Executive Director of the Social Cabinet of the Republic of Paraguay
- Mr. Setareki Macanawai, Chief Executive, Pacific Disaster Forum
- Ms. Armine Hayrapetyan, Representative of MES in Foreign Countries and International Organizations, Sendai National Focal Point, Lieutenant Colonel of Rescue Service, Government of Armenia