Coronavirus Cash Grants For The Poor Prevent A Hunger Pandemic?

Date: 2020-04-26 18:36:13


The U.N.’s food agency is warning that the world is on “brink of a hunger pandemic” as Covid-19 devastates economies and livelihoods around the world.

World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley told the U.N. Security Council that even before COVID-19 became an issue he was telling world leaders that “2020 would be facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.” That’s because of wars, locust swarms in Africa, natural disasters and economic crises.

In response to looming socioeconomic crises, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society, many low and middle-income countries have responded by bolstering or adding resources to existing cash transfer programs. Economists Kate Orkin, François Gerard, Clément Imbert say lower and middle-income countries “can cast an emergency safety net with extensive coverage if they use a broader patchwork of solutions than higher-income countries”.

Orkin explains to Bloomberg QuickTake the various policy options some countries have taken and says many of the arguments against cash transfers for the poor are not supported by rigorous evidence.

Read their policy paper ‘Social Protection Response to the COVID-19 Crisis: Options for Developing Countries’ here:

Can cash transfers help prevent the crisis predicted by the U.N.’s food agency?

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