Social protection in fragile states

Policy brief State, COVID-19 and State Fragility initiative

Despite various challenges, social protection is more important than ever right now for fragile countries that already house a large share of the world’s poor.

The World Bank is estimating that the COVID-19 crisis has the potential to push about 40-60 million more people into extreme poverty, erasing decades of anti-poverty efforts. The World Bank has documented that about 75% of fragile countries have announced COVID-19-related social protection efforts. But, even larger-scale social assistance spending, as well as policies to ensure stable food systems, are needed to help prevent a humanitarian disaster.

This brief discusses the importance of social protection policies in addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 in fragile states and makes suggestions on how policymakers can overcome the challenges of implementing them.