RECOVR Roundup Vol. 4: Social Protection in the Time of COVID-19

RECOVR Roundup Vol. 4: Social Protection in the Time of COVID-19

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By Luciana DebenedettiJeff Mosenkis, and Rachel Strohm

In this fourth installment of our RECOVR Roundup series, we are sharing new findings and analysis from the RECOVR Research Hub and from our partner organizations—as well as links on what is happening in the Social Protection landscape in response to COVID-19. Read the firstsecond, and third installment if you missed them, and sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to receive this roundup series directly to your inbox.

Network Hub IconNew Findings & Analysis

Ethiopia: The global reach of the pandemic

Female garment industry workers experience drops in employment and food security

Christian Johannes Meyer, Morgan Hardy, Marc Witte, Gisella Kagy, and Eyoual Demeke show the ripple effects of the pandemic in a globalized economy. They surveyed almost 4,000 women working in the country’s massive Hawassa industrial park and found that with orders drying up, more than 41 percent had been let go. With over 90 percent of them having no other work, many were food insecure. Out of options, many were returning to the villages they were from. The researchers make the case for insurance and social protection even in areas not hit by the virus.

Remote learning and mental health: How are students and parents in Latin America managing?

Mothers, especially of young children, bear the brunt of the burden

A recent survey of 61,000 parents in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Colombia found that 85 percent of caregivers report at least one symptom of distress since the onset of the pandemic and remote learning. Eighty-four percent of mothers of young children report being involved in their children’s distance education, compared with only 6 percent of fathers. Mothers were more likely to report every symptom of mental distress (sadness, lack of appetite, exhaustion, insomnia) than fathers were, but the gap is lower in homes where fathers helped with distance education. A separate survey of 1,500 high school students in Ecuador found that while most kids were happy, nearly 1 in 6 students had mental health scores that indicate depression.

Highlights from the RECOVR Survey

Earlier this year, IPA surveyed about 13,000 people in 10 countries to assess how they were coping. Some recent findings below:

The Philippines: RECOVR Survey Reveals Priorities for Economic Recovery

Food security, economic well-being, and educational progress are top of mind for Filipinos

In the Philippines, IPA found that food security, economic well-being, and educational progress were top of mind for Filipinos. While promising inroads were made with new government assistance programs to cushion the economic impacts of the pandemic, the survey suggested more work was needed to address structural challenges with internet access, local labor market opportunities, and educational inequalities to promote long-term recovery.

Zambia: Learning from the RECOVR Survey to Identify Social Protection Priorities for an Inclusive and Equitable Recovery

Social protections for populations affected by the pandemic are key for growing the economy

In a survey of residents in Zambia, IPA found that educational continuity, economic well-being, and food security are critical issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers must contend with twin concerns of continuing to promote risk-mitigation to reduce community spread of the virus while designing an equitable economic recovery that addresses malnutrition, better incorporates informal workers into government assistance, and mitigates learning losses.

High Levels of Hunger and Food Insecurity in Nine Countries

Between 25 to 50 percent of households surveyed had to limit meal portions

The surveys took place between May and July 2020 in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines. The lowest levels of food insecurity were in Burkina Faso and Mexico, where 25 percent of respondents reported they had to reduce food consumption. In Rwanda it was more than 50 percent.

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November 05, 2020