COVID-19

Coronavirus news monitor

COVID-19

Coronavirus news monitor

26 October 2020
Honduras launches innovative transfer program in response to COVID-19

latinamerica.undp.org (14.10.2020) The Government of Honduras launched “Single Voucher” (Bono Unico), an innovative social protection program aimed at supporting the most vulnerable population affected by COVID-19 in Honduras. The Single Voucher is a one-time subsidy of $82 dollars (2,000 lempiras) delivered through an electronic voucher that can be exchanged for food, medicine and /or medical supplies to up to 260,000 persons in the country in the next three months. 

26 October 2020
IMF: Morocco’s Pandemic Social Protection Solutions a ‘Success Story’

moroccoworldnews.com (20.10.2020) Morocco established several innovative digital solutions to increase the number of beneficiaries of social protection schemes during the pandemic.

6 October 2020
Digital Technology in Social Assistance Transfers for COVID-19 Relief: Lessons from Selected Cases

cgdev.org (Sept 2020) Many countries have launched unprecedented relief packages to cushion the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This short review considers some initial lessons emerging from selected countries around the use of digital technology to implement these government-to-people (G2P) social transfer programs. Information is still limited on how well the programs have functioned; in particular, there is a dearth of rapid demand-side survey evidence on the experience of beneficiaries receiving transfers and the likely magnitudes of inclusion and exclusion errors. Nevertheless, the emerging picture provides some indications of how investments in digital systems and their deployment along the social transfer value chain have been facilitating the response. Lessons from the COVID-19-related scale-up of social assistance can be harnessed by developing countries to rethink and strengthen the architecture of social protection systems in the future.

2 October 2020
Social protection for older people during COVID-19 and beyond

socialprotection.org (September 2020) This document provides information and guidance on social protection and older people, with a focus on pensions to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19. It is intended as an advisory for people involved in planning and delivering social protection support for older people across a range of contexts. The document briefly describes the specific impact of COVID-19 on older people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the socio-economic impacts. It discusses the current responses which for the most part have not specifically targeted older people and makes the case for pensions as a proven mechanisms to provide immediate income support.

1 October 2020
Going Viral : COVID-19 and the Accelerated Transformation of Jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean

worldbank.org (28.09.2020) The economic impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented in size and scope. It has quickly evolved from a health emergency into an employment crisis. It also has far-reaching implications for workers beyond the immediate employment effects, as it most likely has accelerated the transformation process of jobs that had already started in the region and the world. This book focuses on three important pre-pandemic trends observed in the region—namely, premature deindustrialization, servicification of the economy, and task automation—that were significantly changing the labor market landscape in the region and that have been accelerated by the crisis.

29 September 2020
Opinion: Renewing welfare through universal entitlement: lessons from Covid-19

socialeurope.eu (24.09.2020) The pandemic has brought into focus the social contract between income and contribution which can underpin a solidaristic welfare state.

25 September 2020
UK: What is Rishi Sunak's job support scheme and how will it work?

The Guardian (24.09.2020) The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a replacement for the coronavirus job retention scheme based on a German-style system of wage subsidies. Faced with the prospect of rising job losses this autumn when furlough closes at the end of October, and tougher restrictions on the economy as the pandemic worsens, the “job support scheme” forms the backbone of his winter economy plan. 
The government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours, and will cover 22% of worker pay for six months.  

24 September 2020
ILO: COVID-19 leads to massive labour income losses worldwide

ilo.org (23.09.2020) A new ILO analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19 reveals a “massive” drop in labour income and a fiscal stimulus gap that threatens to increase inequality between richer and poorer countries.

24 September 2020
Public employment services: Digital channels improve access to employment support

ilo.org (26.08.2020) A new ILO policy brief shows how public employment services are using technology to increase the help available to people whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19.

22 September 2020
Financing gaps in social protection: Global estimates and strategies for developing countries in light of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond

Ilo.org (17.09.2020) Closing the social protection coverage gap, worsened by COVID-19, will require additional sources of financing.

15 September 2020
Pandemic preparedness panel slams collective failure to heed warnings

Reuters (14.09.2020) A collective failure by political leaders to heed warnings and prepare for an infectious disease pandemic has transformed “a world at risk” to a “world in disorder”, according to a report on international epidemic preparedness.

15 September 2020
Monitoring COVID-19 impact on older persons

Help Age Asia (2020) As part of an Asia-Pacific regional initiative, HelpAge International and partner organisations are producing bimonthly briefs to summarise trends in the situation of older people and responses to their situation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 September 2020
France : Covid 19 - La facture très salée des tests PCR pour la Sécurité sociale

capital.fr (07.09.2020) Le coût des tests généralisés du COVID 19 est très important et la Sécurité sociale est directement impactée.

4 September 2020
Readiness of working remotely: Actions taken by the Public Pension Agency of Saudi Arabia (PPA) under the Covid19- pandemic

(May 2020)  The readiness of PPA enabled it to continue providing services electronically immediately after suspending the attendance in wokplaces. Thus, PPA managed to adopt the method of working remotely for all employees (+700 employees) participate in this new method of work, by taking an integrated set of effective actions and measures, adopted from the Saudi Vision 2030 and PPA Strategy 2022. PPA would not have reached this achievement without having an advanced digital infrastructure, advance Business Continuity Plan during crises and natural disasters, and qualified human resource to deal with digital technologies.

2 September 2020
EU: Telecommuting because of the corona virus - which country’s social security applies?

Finnish Centre for Pensions (02.04.2020) The European Commission has published instructions regarding the mobility of workers in EU during the exceptional circumstances caused by the corona epidemic. The Commission states that the regulations on the coordination of social security systems continue to be valid. The temporary exceptional circumstances do not change the social security status of mobile workers. The instructions by the Commission are indicative and they do not, in individual cases, bind the authorities in the Member States.

31 August 2020
COVID-19 Funds in Response to the Pandemic

IMF (26.08.2020) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have created dedicated extrabudgetary funds (EBFs) to mobilize resources and streamline emergency spending measures. A recently published IMF Note discusses the role these funds can play in the current crisis. The note examines the motivation for setting up EBFs and describes a database of more than 40 funds worldwide compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO). It documents the diverse nature of these funds, discusses the risks that poorly designed funds can pose for public financial management (PFM) and provides guidance on how to design funds to make them efficient, transparent and accountable.

28 August 2020
Preventing and managing COVID-19 across long-term care services: Policy brief

who.int (24.07.2020) The COVID-19 pandemic has affected older people disproportionately, especially those living in long-term care facilities. In many countries, evidence shows that more than 40% of COVID-19 related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities, with figures being as high as 80% in some high-income countries. Concerted action is needed to mitigate the impact across all aspects of long-term care, including home- and community-based care, given that most users and providers of care are those who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19.

28 August 2020
How Cash Transfers Prevent Lockdown Tragedies

Project Syndicate (19.08.2020) COVID-19 has decimated livelihoods worldwide, squeezing the middle class and pushing low-income households into abject poverty. Social-protection programs such as Pakistan's Ehsaas Emergency Cash offer not only a path forward during the pandemic, but also valuable lessons for the future.

27 August 2020
US: How to fix the Covid stimulus payment problem: Accounts, information, and infrastructure

brookings.edu (19.08.2020) The financial response to the Covid crisis demonstrated the inability of the federal government to rapidly get money to people during times of crisis. It took between three weeks and three months for Americans to receive a single penny of their emergency impact payments, aka the Covid stimulus.

21 August 2020
Addressing the Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis in South Asia through Universal Lifecycle Transfers

Development Pathways (2020) The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a truly global shock: the necessary measures taken to control the spread of the virus have resulted in a major economic and human crisis. The crisis is unprecedented and requires unprecedented measures. By providing families with cash so that national consumption is increased, a fiscal stimulus should enable countries to lower the depth of any recession and, importantly, strengthen the speed of their economic recovery with the potential for higher economic growth.