Effective social protection systems are crucial to safeguarding the poor and vulnerable when crisis hits. Yet, in many countries, such systems remain limited in coverage and will need significant upgrading to respond to a pandemic like COVID-19 (Coronavirus). To help protect individuals and communities from the adverse impacts of the pandemic, the World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to support measures that will help countries cope with immediate health consequences and bolster economic recovery. This will include efforts in strengthening social safety nets to help prevent vulnerable groups from falling (deeper) into poverty, as well as supporting businesses and overall economic resilience.
In the near term, the World Bank Group will leverage existing social protection systems in countries to help families and businesses restore income, preserve livelihoods, and compensate for price hikes. The World Bank Group will also continue to help countries enhance the preparedness of their social protection systems and build resilience against future crises.
The World Bank Group launched its first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world, using a dedicated, fast-track facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) response. Highlighted below are some World Bank projects that encompass social protection measures to support countries.
Full Projects List
of the World Bank Group’s Operational Response to COVID-19.
Sharing global knowledge in a time of crisis
- Social insurance for the informal sector can be a lifeline for millions in Africa by Melis et al.
- Pension payments and pandemics – four potential policy responses by Michal Rutkowski and Alfonso Garcia Mora
- Supporting workers’ transition to a new normal amid COVID-19 by Indhira Santos and Michael Weber
- COVID-19 reinforces the case for fundamental reform of our social protection systems by Michal Rutkowski
- Social protection for migrants during the COVID-19 crisis: The right and smart choice by Mauro Testaverde
- How social protection can help countries cope with COVID-19 by Michal Rutkowski
- COVID-19 through a migration lens: policy responses should be inclusive of migrants by Dilip Ratha
- COVID-19 in Africa: How can social safety nets help mitigate the social and economic impacts? by Christian Bodewig, Ugo Gentilini et al.
- Remittances in times of the coronavirus – keep them flowing by Alfonso Garcia Mora and Michal Rutkowski
- Responding to crisis with digital payments for social protection: Short-term measures with long-term benefits by Michal Rutkowski et al.
- Cash transfers lead the social assistance response to COVID-19
- Weekly Updates: Social Protection and Jobs Responses to COVID-19 : A Real-Time Review of Country Measures by Ugo Gentilini, et al
- Full list of recent World Bank blogs on social protection.
The World Bank along with other member organizations of the Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B) issued a Joint Statement on the Role of Social Protection in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We call for urgent action to:
- Prioritize the most vulnerable
- Ensure access to health services and support people in adopting necessary prevention measures
- Ensure income security and access to essential goods and services and protect human capabilities and livelihoods
- Mobilize substantial domestic and international financing to protect and enhance fiscal space for health and social protection in all countries
- Ensure continued/scaled up and coordinated delivery capacities of social protection and humanitarian crisis response programmes
- Design crisis response measures also with a view to strengthening social protection systems in the medium- and long term
- World Bank Group Launches First Operations for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Health Support, Strengthening Developing Country Responses
- World Bank Group Increases COVID-19 Response to $14 Billion To Help Sustain Economies, Protect Jobs
- World Bank Group President David Malpass Remarks to G20 Leaders’ Virtual Summit
- Statement by Mari Pangestu, Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, The World Bank at the Virtual Meeting of G20 Trade Ministers