AGENCIES, New Delhi: About 400 crore workers in India working in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, reported TheQuint. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in a report today that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting 2.7 billion workers globally due to lockdown.
COVID-19 is already affecting tens of millions of informal workers. In India, Nigeria and Brazil, the number of workers in the informal economy affected by the lockdown and other containment measures is substantial.
“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies. We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said on Tuesday.
In India, with a share of almost 90 per cent of people working in the informal economy, about 400 million workers or 40 crore in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the crisis.
ILO said that the current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas.
The report said that particularly in low- and middle-income countries, hard-hit sectors have a high proportion of workers in informal employment and workers with limited access to health services and social protection. Without appropriate policy measures, workers face a high risk of falling into poverty and will experience greater challenges in regaining their livelihoods during the recovery period.
ILO noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated in terms of intensity and expanded its global reach. Full or partial lockdown measures are now affecting almost 2.7 billion workers, representing around 81 per cent of the world’s workforce.