World Bank supports India’s informal sector workers

A US$500 million World Bank programme will invest in social protection schemes for urban informal workers, gig-workers, and migrants.
By: | July 5, 2021

The World Bank has approved a US$500 million programme to support India’s informal workforce and ramp up the ability of its states to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and weather future climate and disaster shocks. 

The programme will invest in social protection programmes for urban informal workers, gig-workers, and migrants. About 5 million street vendors will be given working capital loans of up to Rs10,000 (US$134). 

A digital platform will also be created with the aim of scaling up urban safety nets and social insurance for informal workers. It will also include gender-disaggregated information on women workers and female-headed households, which will allow policymakers to address gender-based service delivery gaps.

With the approval of the new programme, states will receive greater flexibility and more money, the World Bank said in a statement. 

READ: India seeks to reduce the gender gap in the workplace

It “will help states create a more adaptive social protection system, provide support to excluded groups and cater to context-specific needs, not only for COVID-19 but also for any future crisis, ecological risk, or natural disaster”, it said. 

“Enhanced disaster relief funds to geographically targeted hot-spot districts will support states during the current phase of the pandemic and any future waves.”