Evidence briefs

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

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.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • COVID-19
  • Eligibility criteria should be reviewed to avoid the widespread exclusion of people with disabilities in need of support during COVID-19.
  • Application procedures and facilities for social protection and relief interventions must be accessible to people with all types of disabilities.
  • Mechanisms for delivering social protection and other must be accessible and support the agency of people with disabilities
  • The content of COVID-19 economic responses must be relevant to people with disabilities and adequate to meet their needs.
  • Social protection should be coordinated with other sectors and actors to develop complementary interventions

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