Social Protection During the Pandemic: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico
The pandemic, people’s response to fend off contagion, and the measures designed to contain the spread of the virus took an enormous toll on the living standards in Latin America. Governments faced the challenge of reaching three groups of people: formal sector workers in social security (and their dependents), recipients of existing non-contributory cash transfer programs and their dependents, and finally, households whose members were reliant on labor income from the informal sector and were part of neither social protection system.
There is massive variation in the governments' social protection responses in terms of speed, breadth, and sufficiency. This study describes the policy responses in social protection and to what extent these measures have potentially mitigated the impact of COVID-19 on inequality and poverty in the region’s four largest countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.