Underwriting the Poor: A Global Fund for Social Protection (Briefing Note 7)
Seventy-five to eighty per cent of the world’s poor do not have comprehensive social protection, yet
the total costs of introducing social protection would amount to only 2-6 per cent of global GDP. Poorer
States often have not adopted social protection systems because a) the development models supported by major international institutions have pushed States to lower government spending and reduce the size of the State; b) where poverty and need is widespread, infrastructure limited and the ability of local populations to pay into the system weak, meeting the basic costs of social protection systems today is a major challenge; and c) in many developing countries (particularly small ones) a large portion of the population is susceptible to the same risks of unpredicted covariant shocks, e.g. natural disasters, epidemic diseases or extreme food price increases, leading to simultaneous surges in demand for social protection and decreases in State export and taxation revenues. To help overcome these obstacles and ensure the provision of human rights-based social protection systems in all countries, the Special Rapporteurs call for the creation of a Global Fund for Social Protection (GFSP) with two key functions: a) its facility branch would close the funding shortfall for putting in place a social protection floor in least developed countries (LDCs); b) its reinsurance branch would help underwrite these schemes against the risks of excess demand triggered by major shocks.