Coronavirus pandemic has imposed unprecedented socio-economic challenges on the lives of millions of people across the world.
Coronavirus pandemic has imposed unprecedented socio-economic challenges on the lives of millions of people across the world. In a recent joint statement, a group of leading UN agencies including, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have said that nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion workforce is at the risk of losing their livelihood due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the yearUN agencies including, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Pandemic-induced lockdown shrunk job opportunities across various sectors, putting millions of livelihood at risk. In the statement, the UN agencies have noted that informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable due to lack of income and adequate social protections or health care amid the pandemic.
Furthermore, millions of wage-earning and self-employed agricultural workers are also facing high-levels of poverty, poor health and malnutrition due to irregular work and restrictions during the lockdown.
Covid-19 to wipe out equivalent of 195m jobs, says UN agency. The International Labour Organization (ILO) expects 6.7% of working hours to be wiped out globally in second quarter https://t.co/MRzw6Ltj0f— Robert Went (@went1955) April 8, 2020
“Migrant agricultural workers are particularly vulnerable, because they face risks in their transport, working and living conditions and struggle to access support measures put in place by governments,” the statement noted.
This has not only affected the livelihood of farmers, but also disrupted domestic and international food supply chains.
Meanwhile, the international organisations have called for urgent response to save the lives and their sources of income through boosting social protections and providing income support to those most-affected by the crisis, including informal economy workers and those in low-paid jobs. The agencies have urged world governments to work closely with employers and workers to ensure the provision of essential initiatives such as cash transfers, food relief, child allowances and healthcare benefits among others to support the recovery of hard-hit workers and businesses.
Priority should be given to addressing underlying food security and malnutrition challenges, tackling rural poverty, in particular through more and better jobs in the rural economy, extending social protection to all, facilitating safe migration pathways and promoting the formalization of the informal economyUN agencies joint statement
Earlier on July 2, the ILO had announced that the world lost nearly 400 million full-time jobs in the second quarter (April-June) of 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the ILO estimates, almost 59 per cent full-time jobs were lost in the Asia-Pacific region, with South Asia alone accounting for 110 million of the total 235 million full-time jobs losses in the second quarter.