About 92m people worldwide are benefiting from economic inclusion programmes, which help boost income and assets of the world’s poorest, the World Bank Group has disclosed in ‘State of Economic Inclusion Report 2020: The Potential to Scale.’
The Bretton Woods institution revealed that economic inclusion programmes were fast becoming a critical instrument in many governments’ large-scale anti-poverty strategies.
“Economic inclusion programmes are on the rise in 75 countries, reaching approximately 20m poor and vulnerable households and benefitting nearly 92m individuals,” it stated.
Commenting on the report, World Bank Group’s Managing Director, Mari Pangestu, said, “One of the most stubborn challenges we face in development is positively transforming the lives of the extreme poor and vulnerable — a problem exacerbated by COVID-19.
“This report presents — for the first time — a systematic review of economic inclusion programmes around the world, and sheds light on how governments can best invest in social protection, jobs and financial inclusion, to help the poor build a better future for themselves.”
The report had examined over 200 programmes across 75 countries and found that governments around the world are increasingly scaling up economic inclusion initiatives through social safety nets.
The Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the bank, Michal Rutkowski, said, “Leveraging digital technology will be critical to leapfrog capacity constraints and to strengthen programme management. Many programmes are already utilising government social registries, beneficiary registries and other government databases to identify potential participants.”
Also, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Co-Impact, Olivia Leland, said, “Economic inclusion packages are well positioned to support women to address the plurality of COVID-19-related impacts. In particular, the pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen national systems, and to make sure that they are inclusive and equitable by design, so that women and others who have been historically marginalised are not left out.”
The report also discusses key debates on programme impact and cost as critical factors affecting the sustainability of economic inclusion programmes at scale.
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