COVID-19 and social protection of poor and vulnerable groups in Latin America: a conceptual framework
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The growing crisis caused by the coronavirus disease pandemic has dire implications for Latin American societies. As is often the case, the most vulnerable sectors of society —especially those living in extreme poverty— are being hit the hardest. This article identifies strategies and specific responses designed to achieve three goals: (i) reduce epidemiological risks to save lives; (ii) protect livelihoods; and (iii) ensure human capital accumulation. Epidemiological externalities, as well as humanitarian concerns, demand universal social inclusion. In order to protect the lives, health, livelihoods and human capital of the poor and vulnerable, it will be essential to: implement targeted and decisive interventions at the local level that go beyond transferring cash; allocate adequate resources to fund income support and other key interventions; and involve on local actors and grass-roots organizations for the interventions to be effective.