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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

World donors urged to back social fund

A global fund for the development of a social insurance scheme in developing countries appears as the next natural step in the development effort of world donors.  “Donors have begun to recognise social protection is one of the important of things that should be done … as part of their development aid,” Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur for food rights said, noting that the EU has recognised in its Agenda for Change.
The EU’s proposal for a revamped foreign aid plan, the Agenda for Change, calls for European investment in social insurance for the world’s poorest nations. And the 184-member nations of the International Labour Organization (ILO), including the 27 EU states, in June adopted a resolution urging all countries to provide minimal social protections in the build-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
De Schutter, and his colleague Magdalena Sepúlveda, a lawyer from Chile who serves as the UN special rapporteur for extreme poverty, have urged advanced countries to pay into the Global Fund for Social Protection that developing nations can tap to co-finance insurance schemes. The two said the need for social protections is amplified during a time of economic problems that has hurt the economies of the least-developed nations and taken a bite out of foreign aid. “When the global financial crisis struck, governments stepped in to prop up banks that were deemed too important to fail,” they said in a joint statement in October. “The same logic must now be applied to basic social protection, which is too crucial to be denied.”
De Schutter added that many poorer nations cannot afford unemployment, disability and healthcare insurance of basic food support.“The governments of these countries do no dare to take the risk of establishing standing social protection schemes because they fear that it may not be fiscally sustainable for them to do so. So the global fund for social protection is a mechanism by which the international community would support these poor countries, the least developed countries, to allow them to move towards the establishment of social protection floors.”


Source: Euractiv