World Bank supports India’s informal sector workers
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.
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.”