Headline, November 07 2020/ ''' '' ! THE SUFFERINGS TAP ! '' '''

''' '' ! THE 


IN NEPAL : MOUNT EVEREST EMPTIES HOLLOW AS the pandemic begins its strike : ''I often think I will die of hunger before corona kills me. How long will this go on,'' said Upendra Lama, an out-of-work mountain porter.

Although the whole world is asking similar questions, Nepal has few resources to help people cope. ''There's no hope in sight,'' said one pub owner, Puskar Lal Shresta. 

THE PANDEMIC HAS LAID BARE FOR THE WORLD just about every weakness. Too many people are left to fend for  themselves in time of need. This pandemic was no exception.

Comprehensive social protection systems could right this wrong. Building these systems must be central to our our long term strategy.

Illness or unemployment, pregnancy or old age, disability or injury should never be allowed to push people into poverty. During a pandemic, social protection schemes facilitate access to healthcare and provide lifelines when jobs are lost, rescuing households and stabilising economies.

This has been recognised by the governments in the face of the pandemic. Over 500 new social protection measures have been taken across the countries in the region. Existing schemes have been strengthened, ad-hoc packages rolled out and investment increased.

The recent appreciation for social protection is welcome. It must be maintained because the most effective responses to the pandemic have been from countries which had robust social protection systems in the first place. The logistics of taking measures during an crisis are complicated; setbacks and delays inevitable.

Well-resourced social protection systems built over time are just better placed to deal with the unexpected. However, these systems still do not exist in many parts of the world.

A recent report ''The Protection We Want'' by the International Labour Organization [ILO] and the  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP] finds that more than half the region's population has no coverage whatsoever.

Only a handful of countries have comprehensive social protection systems, and public spending in this area remains below global average. In many countries in South Asia and the Pacific, public expenditure on social protection is as low as 2% of GDP.

Where social  protection systems do exist their coverage is riddled with gaps. The youngest, least educated poorest are frequently left uncovered by healthcare in every region. Many poverty targeted  schemes never reach families most in need.

Maternity, unemployment, sickness and disability benefits are the preserve of minority of workers in the formal economy, leaving 70% of workers locked out of contributory schemes.

Lower labour force participation among women accentuates gaps in coverage. Populating ageing, migration, urbanisation and increasing natural disasters make social protection ever more urgent.

Investing in basic level of social protection for everyone - a social protection floor - would immediately improve livelihoods. United Nations simulations across 13 developing countries in the region show that universal coverage of basic child benefits, disability benefits and old-age pensions would slash the proportion of recipient households living in poverty by up to 18 percent points.

The decrease in poverty would be greatest in Indonesia, followed by Sri Lanka and Georgia. Purchasing power would surge in recipient households supporting increases in per capita consumption is the lowest income groups. In 9 out of 13 countries analyzed, more than a third of the population currently living in poverty would no longer be impoverished.

New approaches to finding participation can extend social protection to workers in the informal economy. Schemes that reward unpaid care work and are complemented by subsidised childcare services can form a decisive step towards more inclusive and gender equal societies. And new technologies, including phone-based platforms, can accelerate delivery across populations.

As we focus on building back better in the aftermath of he pandemic, our region has an opportunity to make universal social protection a reality. In so doing, we could bring an end to the great injustices that leaves the vulnerable in our societies most exposed.

Governments from across Asia-Pacific will convene later at ESCAP's Sixth Committee on Social Development to strengthen regional cooperation in this area. Let us seize this opportunity to accelerate progress towards universal social protection, and  reduce poverty and inequality in Asia and the Pacific and the world.

The Serving of this Master Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana - the UN Under-Sectary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Chihoko Asada Miykawa - the ILO regional Director for Asia and the Pacific

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all  prepare and register for great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Social Sonar '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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