Social Protection Response to impact of COVID -19 crisis in the Subregion

WEBINAR 3 : "Rapid Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Workers in the Informal Economy”

Organized by the ILO DWT/CO Moscow
16 June 2020, Tuesday
12:00 Moscow time

With the outbreak of the global COVID -19 pandemic countries worldwide are faced with a major public health challenge with significant social, labour market and economic impacts. Governments are facing a double challenge: containing the health pandemic while responding to its economic and social effects.

In 2020, over 2 billion workers are earning their livelihoods in the informal economy. This is 62 per cent of all those working worldwide. Informal employment represents 90 per cent of total employment in low-income countries, 67 per cent in middle-income countries and 18 per cent in high-income countries. Women are more exposed to informality in low- and lower-middle income countries, and are often in more vulnerable situations than their male counterparts. Similar observation applies to informal enterprises, which account for eight out of every ten enterprises in the world. These are mainly unregistered small-scale units, often employing ten or fewer undeclared and low-skilled workers, including unpaid family workers, mainly women, who labour in precarious conditions, without social protection or health and safety measures at the workplace. They have low productivity, low rates of savings and investment, and negligible capital accumulation, which make them particularly vulnerable to economic shocks, and are often excluded from COVID-19 crisis-related short-term financial assistance programmes for businesses.

The third webinar in the series devoted to social protection response to COVID-19 in the ECIS sub-region will present Generic Guide to Rapid Assessment of the Impact of COVID -19 on Enterprises and Workers in the Informal Economy. ILO estimates show that due to the impact of COVID pandemic,  and without any alternative income sources, lost labour income will result in an increase in relative poverty for informal workers and their families of more than 21 percentage points in upper-middle-income countries, almost 52 points in high-income countries and 56 points in lower- and low-income countries .  Extension of social security coverage to workers in informal economy  with interventions meeting short, medium and longer term needs of workers in informal economy is one of the approaches to mitigate insecurity and lack of access to a range of health, social and economic programmes and services that women and men in informal economy and their families face on a daily basis, was discussed during last webinar. In order to design comprehensive and sustainable approaches, with better understanding of diversity of situations they are confronted with, the challenges, opportunities and needs is needed in order to guide governments, social partners, informal economy organization and other entities designing initiatives supporting workers in informal economy.

The rapid assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on enterprises and workers in informal economy offers guidance to identify workers in informal economy and give them voice,  highlight sectors and groups most affected by the crisis, identify the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic and adopted preventive measures on selected sectors, sub-sectors or activities in the informal economy, methodological approaches to rapid assessment.
  •      Ms. Olga KOULAEVA, Director, ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  •      Ms. Nino VELTAURI, State Employment Agency / on behalf of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
  •      Ms. Florence BONNET, Labour Market and Informality Specialist, INWORK, ILO Geneva
  •      Ms. Jasmina PAPA, Social Protection Specialist, ILO DWT/CO Moscow
  •      Ms. Maha KATTAA,  ILO Senior Resilience and Crisis Response Specialist, IL, Iraq Country Coordinator
  •      Ms. Janna FATTAKHOVA,  National Consultant (Uzbekistan)
Moderator:  Ms. Jasmina PAPA, Social Protection Specialist, ILO DWT/CO-Moscow.

Webinar will be conducted in Russian and English languages.