Support measures for poor in middle income countries not enough: ILO

The International Labour Organisation has said current support measures are not enough to prevent the spread of Corona pandemic in low and middle income countries.

“As the crisis spreads to low and middle income countries we will need to do much more to protect workers and support enterprises, because these countries are less prepared for a protracted crisis. Otherwise, the combination of large informal economies and low social protection coverage will spell disaster for people and economies,” ILO director general Guy Ryder said.

“Our aim should be to help these countries support their people, weather the crisis, and to build back better,” he added.

According to ILO, world needs global solidarity to support investment in these economies, in their social and environmental renewal, in their people and in the institutions of work that will effectively protect workers and their families.

“If not, the already large inequalities will widen, poverty will deepen, social progress will be lost and the path towards recovery will be very hazardous,” he added.

Ryder, who was part of the virtual extraordinary meeting on April 23, with the G20 labour ministers committed themselves to take “in full global cooperation…a human-centred approach to promote employment, bolster social protection, stabilize labour relations and promote the Fundamental Principles and Rights At Work.

“Respecting workers’ fundamental rights and effective dialogue with workers’ and employers’ organizations is the only way to create a solid, equitable, global recovery, and ensure the public support needed to carry the measures through,” he said.

The ILO has proposed an integrated, four pillar policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes support for the economy and employment; support for enterprises, jobs and incomes; protection for those working during lockdowns and as economies reopen, and the use of social dialogue.

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