Thin Safety Nets No Match for Pandemic

Up to a third of the world’s people have no safety net to buffer COVID-19’s economic blows, a new Oxfam report shows.
While many wealthy countries rolled out a “whatever it takes” approach, few low- and middle-income countries can offer much support for basic needs during the pandemic. The disparities:  

  • $695 per person (rich countries)
  • $28 (middle-income countries)
  • $4 (for some low-income countries)

As a result—barring emergency interventions—”the number of people living in poverty is set to increase sharply for the first time in decades, Ana Arendar, Oxfam Head of Inequality Campaign, said in a statement.
However, a universal approach to social protection—exemplified by countries including South Africa, Bolivia, and Namibia—can be affordable and profoundly reduce inequality, the report illustrates.

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