COVID-19 responses must be built on human solidarity — ILO tells World Bank, IMF

The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has called for an immediate human-centred response through global solidarity to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his submissions to the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), the ILO Director-General described the human dimension of the pandemic as devastating, and its combined health, social and economic effects as the worst crisis since the Second World War.

In written statements, “International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee,” to the meeting, Ryder urged the IMF and WB to focus their response on “providing immediate relief to workers and enterprises in order to protect businesses and livelihoods, particularly in hard-hit sectors and in developing countries”.

He said priority attention should be given to the impact on smaller enterprises, unprotected workers, and those in the informal economy.

According to the latest edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, 81 per cent of the global workforce (2.7 billion workers) live in countries with mandatory or recommended closures.

It also shows that working hours will decline by 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, which is equivalent to the loss of 195 million full-time jobs.

Ryder urged the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee (DC) to put their weight behind four inter-related policy responses.

These policy responses, according to him is stimulating the economy and demand for labour by using available fiscal and monetary tools and debt relief; and also providing immediate assistance to sustain enterprises, preserve jobs and support incomes.

Others include ensuring adequate protection for all those who continue to work during the crisis; and also making full use of social dialogue between governments, and workers and employers’ organisations, which has a proven record of generating effective, practical, and equitable solutions to the type of challenges now confronting the world of work.

Ryder said the crisis has uncovered the huge decent work deficits that still prevail in 2020 and shown how vulnerable millions of working people are when a crisis hits.

 

 

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