Covid-19 and social protection of poor and vulnerable groups in Latin America: a conceptual framework

May 21, 2020

The growing crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has dire implications for Latin American societies. As is often the case, the most vulnerable segments of society, especially those living in extreme poverty, are being hit the hardest. This article identifies strategies and specific responses designed to achieve three goals: (1) reduce epidemiological risks to save lives; (2) protect livelihoods; and (3) ensure human capital accumulation. Epidemiological externalities as well as humanitarian concerns demand universal social inclusion. In order to protect the health and lives, livelihoods, and the human capital of the poor and vulnerable, it will be essential to, first, implement targeted and decisive interventions at the local level that go beyond transferring cash; second, allocate adequate amounts of resources to fund income support and these other key interventions; and, third, rely on local actors and grassroots organizations for the interventions to be effective. 

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