400 million people in India’s risk falling into poverty in the informal economy during the COVID-19 crisis: ILO report

Photo: ILO

“81 percent in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures.”

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 April 2020: The Coronavirus crisis is affecting tens of millions of informal workers in the unorganized sector. Latest ILO figures for India, Nigeria, and Brazil reveal unprecedented numbers affected deeply towards poverty as a consequence of the lockdowns and other steps.

“Current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford’s
COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas, says the ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work Updated estimates and analysis released on 7 April 2020. (ilo.org)

At the global level, the report press release says, “The COVID-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 percent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1 percent, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8 percent, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 percent, 125 million full-time workers).

Huge losses are expected across different income groups but especially in upper-middle-income countries (7.0 percent, 100 million full-time workers). This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis.”

The rather disturbing report reveals more than four out of five people (81 percent) in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures.

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”

Worldwide, two billion people work in the informal sector (mostly in emerging and developing economies) and are particularly at risk.

Large-scale, integrated, policy measures are needed, focusing on four pillars: supporting enterprises, employment, and incomes; stimulating the economy and jobs; protecting workers in the workplace; and, using social dialogue between government, workers, and employers to find solutions, the study says.

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