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Social protection response to the COVID-19 crisis: options for developing countries

Francois Gerard, Clément Imbert and Kate Orkin

Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2020, vol. 36, issue Supplement_1, S281-S296

Abstract: The public health response to COVID-19 in many countries has involved strict restrictions on movement and economic activity which threaten the livelihoods of economically vulnerable households. In response, governments are adopting emergency economic measures to provide households with some safety net. We provide an overview of the policies that could form a comprehensive social protection strategy in low-income and middle-income countries, with examples of specific policies that have been adopted. Our core argument is that these countries can cast an emergency safety net with extensive coverage if they use a broader patchwork of solutions than higher-income countries. These strategies could include expanding their social insurance system, building on existing social assistance programmes, and involving local governments and non-state institutions to identify and assist vulnerable groups who are otherwise harder to reach.

Keywords: COVID-19; social protection; cash transfers; social insurance; informal insurance; risk sharing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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