Over 4 billion don’t have social protection: UN

What is the News?

The International Labour Organization(ILO) has released a report titled ‘World Social Protection Report 2020–22’.

Purpose of the Report:

The report provides a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: Social protection includes access to health care and income security particularly in relation to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or loss of the main income earner, as well as for families with children.

Key Findings of the Report:

Coverage of Social Protection: Currently, only 47% of the global population are effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while 4.1 billion people (53%) obtain no income security at all from their national social protection system. 

Inequalities in Social Protection: There are significant regional inequalities in social protection. Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of coverage with 84% of people being covered by at least one benefit. On the other hand, Asia and the Pacific (44%), the Arab States (40%) and Africa (17.4% ) have marked coverage gaps. 

Government Spending on Social Protection: It varies significantly. On average, countries spend 12.8% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection (excluding health). However, high-income countries spend 16.4% and low-income countries only 1.1% of their GDP on social protection.

Social Protection by Category wise:

Children: The vast majority of children still have no effective social protection coverage – only one in four children (26.4%) receives a social protection benefit. 

Cash Maternity Benefit: Only 45% of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash maternity benefit. 

Disability: Only one in three persons with severe disabilities (33.5%) worldwide receive a disability benefit. 

Unemployment: Coverage of unemployment benefits is even lower; only 18.6%  of unemployed workers worldwide are effectively covered. 

Old Age Pension: Around 77.5% of people above retirement age receive some form of old-age pension. But major disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas and between women and men. 

Source: This post is based on the article Over 4 billion don’t have social protection: UNpublished in The Hindu on 1st September 2021.

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