The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and its consequences across the world are truly unpresented: health care systems are becoming increasingly under pressure; countries are closing down their borders; public life is being brought down to a minimum; economies are experiencing significant slow-downs, threatening especially the survival of small businesses and those in the informal sector; schools and child care centres are being closed, calling for alternative care; and many more.

The wide-ranging consequences of COVID-19 require responses that go far beyond the health sector, including measures to assist people in need and protect them against falling into poverty due to the pandemic. Against this background, social protection measures become once more important. The virus will be a test for the world´s social protection systems, raising questions such as: how can social protection programmes help cushion the loss of income, especially among those that were already working in precarious jobs? How can social protection assist those who are more likely to get seriously ill due to COVID-19, such as the elderly? Also, how can the food security of millions of children be secured when they are not receiving school meals due to the shut-down of schools? 

Against this background, this Online Community was created to compile the latest responses to these questions, show casting how countries across the world are responding to the COVID-19 crisis through social protection measures. The community also offers a space to discuss what else needs to be done in order to make countries´ social protection systems more responsive in crisis contexts in more general.

This joint effort was initiated by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia. We welcome anyone interested in the topic to join and share their thoughts and relevant materials.

Learn more on how to collaborate here.