Social Protection and Jobs Responses to COVID-19 : A Real-Time Review of Country Measures

Gentilini, U., M. Almenfi, I. Orton, and P. Dale
Publication language
Date published
17 Apr 2020
Real-time evaluation
COVID-19, Response and recovery
World Bank

Some key finds from this "living paper" include : As of April 23, 2020, a total of 151 countries (18 more since last week) have planned, introduced or adapted 684 social protection measures in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This is a ten-fold increase in measures since the first edition of this living paper (March 20). New countries include Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Bermuda, Brunei, Chad, Grenada, Libya, Montserrat, Nigeria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, St Maarten, and UAE. Social assistance transfers are the most widely used class of interventions (60 percent of global responses, or 412 measures). These are complemented by significant action in social insurance and labor market-related measures (supply-side measures). Among safety nets, cash transfer programs remain the most widely used safety net intervention by governments (table 1 and figure 2). Overall, cash transfers include 222 COVID-related measures representing one-third (32.4 percent) of total COVID-related social protection programs. Cash transfers include a mix of both new and pre-existing programs of various duration and generosity. About half (47 percent) of cash transfers are new programs in 78 countries (reaching 512.6 million people), while one-fifth (22 percent) of measures are one-off payments. The average duration of transfers is 2.9 months. The size of transfers is relatively generous, or one-fifth (22 percent) of monthly GDP per capita in respective countries. On average, this is an increase of 86.6 percent compared to average pre-COVID transfer levels (where data is available for a subset of countries).