The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression of 1929. The pandemic and the procedures put in place to protect people led to a downward spiral, ultimately pushing an estimated 115 million additional into extreme poverty in 2020, and 35 million more may follow this year, according to Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.
“The reality is that we have been caught unprepared,” he said. “61 percent of the global workforce is still made up of informal workers or workers in precarious forms of employment, with little or no access to social protection. 55 percent of the world’s population, 4 billion people, lack any form of social protection and an additional 26 percent are covered only against some forms of economic insecurity.”
De Schutter presented the report at the 47th Session of the Human Rights Council, on 30 June 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.
When the economic crisis escalated, many countries did implement social protection measures to help people keep afloat. However, De Schutter added that the measures were ad hoc and short term.
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