Informal Workers and the Social Protection Response to COVID-19: Who Got Relief? How? And Did it Make a Difference?
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In March and April 2020, it became clear that the world was facing an unprecedented pandemic and government after government began imposing strict lockdown measures. As these measures were implemented it also became increasingly obvious that workers without access to social protection–the vast majority of informal workers–were bearing the brunt of what was fast becoming a health AND economic crisis. The government response has–at least at first glance–been impressive. There has been an unprecedented expansion of relief measures, particularly cash and food, to populations already considered vulnerable, but also to new groups such as informal workers. In fact, it would be fair to say that the question of how to expand relief measures to informal workers has been one of the questions central to the COVID-19 crisis.