A successful response starts before the crisis, not after.
To deal effectively with the COVID-19 emergency, pre-existing infrastructure was essential: countries with strong public services and gender-sensitive social protection systems could count on these structures to deploy support more quickly and efficiently.
It was largely a question of resources. From mitigating economic impacts to supporting survivors of violence, many countries in the North have been able to leverage and adapt existing service delivery systems to the context of the pandemic.
Other countries have improvised with varying degrees of success. Low-income countries in Africa and Asia, for example, have often struggled to respond due to budget constraints.
Despite these constraints, at least 15 countries – including Brazil, Bangladesh and Liberia – extension of social protection to informal workers, with special provisions for women in the informal economy.
But the threat of austerity stifling progress remains. Large-scale investments at national and global levels will be essential to support the recovery and build resilience for the future.