social security: more than half of the world’s population, four billion, has no social security, says ILO – Community News
Social Security

social security: more than half of the world’s population, four billion, has no social security, says ILO

More than four billion people, or 53% of the world’s population, have no social security of any kind despite the unprecedented global expansion of social protection during the COVID-19 crisis, said the International Labor Organization (ILO), which is proposing countries to increase spending on social protection to guarantee at least basic social protection coverage.

Social protection includes access to health care and income security, especially in relation to old age, unemployment, illness, disability, accidents at work, maternity or loss of a main earner, as well as for families with children. Currently, only 47% of the world’s population is effectively covered by at least one Social Security benefit.

Countries spend on average 12.8% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection (excluding health), while high-income countries and low-income countries spend only 1.1% of their GDP on social protection.

“We must recognize that effective and comprehensive social protection is essential not only for social justice and decent work, but also for creating a sustainable and resilient future,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in the World Social Protection Report 2020- 22 of the ILO, which was published on Wednesday. .

According to the report, the additional expenditure needed to ensure at least a minimum of social protection for all has increased by about 30% since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. “Low-income countries would need to invest an additional $77.9 billion annually, lower-middle-income countries an additional $362.9 billion a year and upper-middle-income countries an additional $750.8 billion a year to provide at least basic coverage of guarantee social protection. ,” it said. That equates to 15.9%, 5.1% and 3.1% of their GDP, respectively.

The report further finds that the pandemic response has been uneven and inadequate, widening the gap between countries with high and low income levels and failing to provide the much-needed social protections that all people deserve.

“Countries are at a crossroads. This is a crucial time to harness the pandemic response to build a new generation of rights-based social protection systems. These can protect people from future crises and give workers and businesses the confidence to tackle the many transitions ahead with confidence and hope,” said Ryder.

The report went on to say that there are significant regional disparities in social protection. Europe and Central Asia have the highest coverage rates, with 84% of people being covered by at least one benefit. America is above the global average at 64.3% while it is 44% in Asia and the Pacific, 40% in the Arab states and 17.4% in Africa.

Globally, the vast majority of children still lack effective social protection – only one in four children or 26.4% receive social protection benefits, the report said.

While worldwide only 45% of women with newborns receive maternity benefits, 33.5% of persons with severe disabilities worldwide receive disability benefits. Unemployment benefit coverage is even lower: only 18.6% of unemployed workers worldwide are effectively covered.

Although 77.5% of people over retirement age receive some form of old-age pension, wide disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas, and between women and men, it added.