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SPACE Social protection for older people during COVID-19 and beyond

30 September 2020 — By Florian Juergens and Dr Flavia Galvani (helpage), with input from experts on the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE)

This document provides information and guidance on social protection and older people, with a focus on pensions to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19. It is intended as an advisory for people involved in planning and delivering social protection support for older people across a range of contexts. The document briefly describes the specific impact of COVID-19 on older people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the socio-economic impacts. It discusses the current responses which for the most part have not specifically targeted older people and makes the case for pensions as a proven mechanisms to provide immediate income support. The guidance goes onto describe why expanding pensions in response to COVID-19 is particularly important as many older people face difficulties accessing emergency cash transfers, offers a few simple tips to make emergency social protection response more accessible and inclusive for older people and concludes with a short discussion on the transition from emergency to protracted crisis requiring longer-term social protection solutions.