Social Justice in Global Development
SocDevJustice

 

Open Letter to G20 Finance Ministers and the IMF:  Civil Society Organizations Call for Quick Special Drawing Rights Allocation

COVID-19 spurred health, social and economic crises that hit developing countries the hardest. The pandemic deepened development and inequality challenges and erased years of progress on poverty reduction and women’s rights. Countries continue to face fallen revenues, lower foreign exchange earnings and higher fiscal and debt burdens. Many of these countries cannot afford expenditures vital to bring the pandemic under control, increase social protection to survive lockdowns and prepare to recover with equity and resilience. Of the trillions spent on stimulus packages around the world so far, wealthy countries account for 88 percent, while developing countries account for the rest.

A multilateral solution is needed. One that will not push low- and middle-income economies into further debt distress. To that end, we ask that you urgently support a new allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the amount of US$3 trillion. We believe that an allocation of this size is required to address the real needs in a decisive and sustainable way. In 2009, the international community responded to a crisis of much smaller scope and proportions with an allocation of US$250 billion in Special Drawing Rights. This initiative had a significant role in restoring market confidence and supporting global recovery. Last year, even before the scale of this crisis was clear, IMF estimates placed emerging economies’ financing needs at US$2.5 trillion.

A new and significant allocation of SDRs would enable countries to boost reserves and stabilize economies, helping to minimize other economic losses. It would free up funds urgently needed for the pandemic response, including gender-responsive public health systems, universal social protection and comprehensive vaccine rollouts. It would also provide much-needed foreign exchange resources to countries whose capacity to earn them continues to be severely constrained in the short to medium term. SDRs do not add to countries’ debt burdens, promote debt sustainability and do not represent a loss for anyone – only a gain. Importantly, they would provide a liquidity injection with economic stimulus benefits worldwide.

So far, the international financial response to the pandemic crisis fails to uphold the standard of solidarity we all should expect in the face of such threat. A new SDR allocation would send a strong signal of renewed multilateral coordination that puts life first and is within your immediate reach. We ask for your leadership in ensuring the international community rises up to this historic moment to do what is needed. See signatories of the letter here >>>

Read the letter here in English

Lea la carta aqui en Español

Lire la lettre ici en Français

You can sign the letter here

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Campaign on the Social Protection Floor

See a film by the International Labour Organization on the Social Protection Floor here »»»

Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.

A Social Protection Floor (SPF) is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:
1. Universal access to essential services (such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation and other services as nationally defined);
2. Social Transfers in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.

Countries will develop nationally defined strategies for the progressive realization and sustainability of their floor as well as higher levels of social protection in line with their needs, preferences and financial capacities. Building on existing social protection mechanisms these strategies may include a mix of contributory and non-contributory, targeted and universal, public and private instruments depending on the social economic and political context. For information about the campaign see here>>>. For further the letter initiative see here>>>

In summary, the SPF is:
• Universal- It includes everyone.
• Rights- based – (enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
• Nationally owned and designed.
• The first step in an ongoing process – not a ceiling of benefits.
• Affordable by all countries.

More on the CSO Coalition see here www.socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org

Already 2021 NGOs initiated a petition on social protection, see here »»» 

This signature campaign has been used as a tool for lobbying at national and global levels. The most important purpose of the campaign was to convince national government that the Social Protection Floor is needed and wanted by its citizens and must be included in national development policies. This initiative presented an opportunity for NGOs to work together to roll back poverty, to put social protection at the heart of the international development agenda and to strengthen the chance for every person to live with dignity.

For further information see at https://www.social-protection.org/gimi/ShowTheme.action?id=1321 and the NGO Committe for Social Development see at www.ngosocdev.net     

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