Considering the inequalities and barriers faced by persons with disabilities and their families before the crisis, an inclusive social protection response and recovery is critical to mitigate their further impoverishment and marginalisation.
The COVID 19 crisis “has revealed once again the devastating consequences of systemic shocks for societies and economies in the absence of universal and adequate social protection”[i]. Exchanges between leaders of organisations of persons with disabilities from more than 40 countries[ii] highlighted severe issues of inaccessible information and the lack of attention to specific support requirements of persons with disabilities. They reflected on the weaknesses of their national social protection systems which undermine state response capacity. The few countries which have more comprehensive social protection systems, including national disability registry, universal disability schemes and publicly-funded community support services have been in a better position to provide urgent support to persons with disabilities than countries with meager social protection systems.
Building on the UNPRPD brief on Disability-Inclusive Social Protection Response to COVID19 crisis, this paper is a first attempt to review the type of social protection measures taken by governments to support persons with disabilities and their families. An initial review, it is primarily based on the living paper “Social Protection and Jobs Responses to COVID-19: A Real-Time Review of Country Measures” [iii] updated every week, with some additional data collection for few countries. This complements the ILO Social Protection Monitor Dashboard.
Update monthly, this paper will be augmented by further analysis, with country case studies, documentation of interesting practices, and accompanied by thematic briefs to support stakeholders’ efforts to build back better by developing sustainable, universal, and inclusive social protection systems, including floors.
[i] ILO May 2020, Social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries: Strengthening resilience by building universal social protection
[ii] Consultations carried out through 4 webinars organized with the International Disability Alliance in April May 2020 http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/covid19-sp-newsletter
Daniel Mont is co-founder of the Center for Inclusive Policy. He has extensive experience in the area of disability and inclusive development in research, operations, and capacity building, having worked for many years with the World Bank but also with a wide range of other international development agencies, governments, academics, and civil society organizations.