worldbank.org (10.02.2022) The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated poverty and threatened livelihoods in Liberia. The need to respond to this challenge spurred the expansion and digitization of the government’s ongoing cash transfer program. The Liberia Social Safety Nets Project launched the government’s first-ever urban cash transfer program. It provided emergency cash transfers for close to 15,000 households living in vulnerable communities in the Greater Monrovia area, which had recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Liberia.
Economic Research Forum (ERF) (February 2022) This policy brief assesses the impact of COVID-19 on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) labor markets through June 2021. We use data from the four waves of the ERF COVID-19 MENA monitor household surveys, spanning November 2020, February 2021, April 2021, and June 2021. We focus on Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia and developments between February 2021 and June 2021.
brookings.edu (27.05.2022) The COVID-19 recession was born out of a public health threat. Thus, unemployment insurance (UI) was meant to insure people against income losses associated not just with involuntary job loss, as in a usual recession, but also with the choice not to work due to the public health risk.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (March 2020) Children and adolescents are exposed to a multitude of risks, which have worsened due to the socio-economic repercussions of COVID-19. This emphasises the need to improve the protection of children and adolescents, who already faced greater poverty rates than other age groups before the crisis. This One Pager discusses universal cash transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean.
brookings.edu (03.05.2022) Pension systems around the world faced a “stress test” during the pandemic—what you might call the “pension pandemic paradox.” On the one hand, there was pressure to allow access to pension savings as emergency support during a period of sharp economic downturn. This was understandable, since for many people pension savings are their biggest financial asset. But, in some countries, this turned into unprecedented access beyond immediate emergency needs and put the pension savings system at risk.
oecd.org (March 2022) This document provides an update on the use of job retention (JR) schemes during the COVID-19 crisis until the end of 2021 and takes stock of the different strategies employed by OECD governments to adjust them as the crisis evolved. It provides three key insights. First, since reaching a peak of 20% of employment in April/May 2020 on average across OECD countries, the use of JR support has declined to 1.3% in November/December 2021.
ESCWA (April 2022) Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, social protection systems in the Arab region were weak, fragmented, not inclusive, and non-transparent. They were also costly and unsustainable. Underinvestment in these systems and exclusion of vulnerable populations were key challenges. The COVID-19 crisis spotlighted the problems and presented a historic opportunity to address some of the challenges facing social protection systems. Lessons learned in various countries were identified as useful examples for change, in addition to certain innovations.
worldbank.org (2022) The Philippines’ experience in implementing the social amelioration program (SAP) in response to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlights the pressing need for financial inclusion, especially among the poor. The absence of a national identification (ID) system and low bank account ownership posed a challenge in the delivery of SAP. The Government of the Philippines (GoP) expedited the development and registration for the national ID system (PhilSys) and used the opportunity to facilitate bank account opening.
worldbank.org (17.11.2021) The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of the vast and diverse informal economy as well as the lack of social protection schemes to provide timely support, especially to those in urban areas. To protect vulnerable individuals from shocks and build their resilience, governments in Africa need to expand social registries and develop and implement policies to cover the informal economy by innovative social protection programs.
foreignpolicy.com (10.03.2022) One of the biggest challenges women face globally is the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to work. According to the International Labor Organization, women’s workforce participation levels are still below pre-pandemic levels, whereas men’s jobs have largely returned.