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Impact of COVID-19 on informal workers

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major economic and labour market shock, presenting significant impacts in terms of unemployment and underemployment for informal workers. In rural areas, the livelihoods of especially the self-employed and wage workers are at risk, because agri-food supply chains and markets are being disrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. Families might resort to negative coping strategies such as distress sale of assets, taking out loans from informal moneylenders, or child labour. Specific groups of workers, including women, youth, children, indigenous people, and migrant workers, who are overrepresented in the informal economy, will experience further exacerbation of their vulnerability. Response measures should foster the expansion of social protection coverage to informal workers in agriculture and rural sectors, including timely cash transfers, food or in-kind distributions. Specific measures should be tailored towards women workers with care responsibilities at home, families that may resort to child labour as a coping strategy, as well as other vulnerable subgroups. Efforts should be made to maintain agricultural supply chains and strengthen the market linkages for local producers, while promoting decent work.

Date
2020
Publisher
FAO
Region
Global
Policy Theme