More than $500 bn a year needed to ensure basic levels of social protection worldwide: ILO

GENEVA, More than US$500 billion a year needs to be invested if countries are to meet a basic set of social protection measures � known as a social protection floor � by 2030, says a new ILO report.

According to the report, measuring financing gaps in social protection for achieving SDG target 1.3: Global estimates and strategies for developing countries, spending on coverage needs to increase dramatically to achieve universal coverage of a basic set of social protection measures.

This would include: Cash transfers to children Maternity benefits for mothers with newborns Disability benefits Old age social pensions Based on research carried out in 134 countries, the findings show that at current levels social protection covers only 8.5 percent of children and 15.3 percent of older persons in low-income countries. By contrast, in upper-middle income countries 35 per cent of children and 90 per cent of older persons are covered.

Social protection plays a central role in efforts to reach by 2030 the targets set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, including those for poverty, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, among others.

Many middle- or upper-middle-income countries have the domestic capacity to generate the resources to finance a universal social protection floor, say the report’s authors. However, substantial amounts of overseas development aid will be needed to close the financing gap in the 28 low-income countries covered in the research, to achieve universal coverage by 2030.

According to the report the low-income countries would need to spend 5.6 per cent (US$27 billion per year) of their Gross Domestic Product to close the financing gap. The lower middle-income countries would need to earmark 1.9 per cent of GDP (US$ 136 billion per year), whereas the upper-middle income countries would need to spend 1.4 per cent of their GDP (US$ 365 billion per year).

The ILO is hosting a Global Social Protection Week in Geneva, 25-28 November 2019, with the aim of charting a way towards achieving social protection for all.

Source: Emirates News Agency