Strengthening public health and social protection systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“We are only as safe as the most vulnerable among us”
The health and socioeconomic crisis caused by COVID-19 has shown in a dramatic fashion that we are only as safe as the most vulnerable among us. Despite previous legal and policy commitments and laudable progress in many countries, only between one-third and one-half of the world’s population were covered by essential health services. More than 55 percent had no access to social protection at all, with devastating consequences for societies worldwide.

Millions of people have already fallen into poverty, are suffering from hunger and destitution or have died. The crisis has put into sharp relief the large underinvestment in public health systems that struggle to detect, isolate and treat cases. It has also demonstrated the need for robust and comprehensive social protection systems that protect individuals against income losses in case of sickness or job loss and that reduce the depth and duration of economic downturns by means of counter-cyclical spending.

Read this chapter here.

By Mira Bierbaum, Thomas Gebauer and Nicola Wiebe, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF).

Source: Report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020.