Inclusive Crises, Exclusive Recoveries, and Policies to Prevent a Double Whammy for the Poor
This paper is part of a broader policy research programme at UNICEF to analyse the impact of aggregate economic shocks on children and women, and to help assess and design policy responses that facilitate the protection of the most vulnerable and preserve budget allocations for social services. It reviews the emerging evidence on the impact of the global economic crisis and food and fuel price volatility of the period 2008-09. It also analyses some of the key policy responses by governments.
The desk review reports evidence that suggests that, once again, the poor risk facing a double whammy: first, often being among the most adversely affected by economic shock and being pushed into further poverty, and second, being the least equipped to participate in and benefit from subsequent recovery. The paper contends that in order to help ensure a more inclusive social and economic recovery, governments should follow a pro-poor countercyclical strategy that preserves (if not increases) social spending and investments and uses part of these resources to develop social protection systems. Failure to do so risks translating the effects of the crisis into permanent harm for children, women and poor families, in turn weakening their resilience to future crises and transferring their vulnerability to future generations.