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How can social protection responses to COVID-19 be made disability inclusive?

BANKS, Lena Morgon
HUNT, Xanthe
June 2020

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Question & problem

The COVID-19 pandemic and strategies essential for its containment are resulting in severe strains on economies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These impacts will be felt most by groups already in or at risk of poverty, including the estimated 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Interventions to address the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic are urgently needed. Some countries have begun implementing or announced plans for interventions addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, such as food assistance, emergency cash transfers, unemployment assistance or expansions to existing social protection programmes. As these programmes are developed, it is important to consider the extent to which their design and delivery is inclusive of people with disabilities. Failure to adequately include people with disabilities in this process will lead to widening inequalities.

How do we ensure that social protection assistance initiatives work for people with disabilities?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

Social protection systems and other financial assistance, including cash transfers and integrated benefits packages, may be important ways to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in services and society. There is limited information, however, with regards to their impact in low- and middle-income settings. To understand how these programs work, it is important to recognise that there are disability-targeted entitlements, but people with disabilities may also be eligible for mainstream programmes aimed at other targeted groups, such as people of a certain socio-economic status. This evidence note summarises what is known about challenges faced by both of these types of initiatives, as well as evidence-based recommendations to strengthen them.

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