Yemi Alade, Nigeria’s Afropop star is lending her voice with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in an action to protect vulnerable individuals who are mostly affected by COVID-19.
She made the call at a recent virtual event of the UNDP’s 2020 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in the event tagged: “Half the World: The Many Faces of Social Protection”.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 55 percent of the world’s population are not under any form of social insurance or social assistance in their respective countries, hence promoting the UN to rise to challenge countries to act by having a form of social security programmes for their citizens.
Countries like the United States and United Kingdom who are currently going through the grave of the pandemic especially the US activated their own form of social assistance to a larger size of their population who are tax payers during the hit the pandemic.
However, the narrative is not the same in most developing countries of the world, hence throwing hundreds of millions of vulnerable into extreme poverty.
Recently, the same UN disclosed that over 270 million are expected to face hunger pandemic as a result of the unprecedented pandemic.
The government of Nigeria, a typical example of countries the UNDP is reaching out to has to an extent extended its own form of social assistance to less than one percent of its population, those whom it termed as: the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor in the society a little less than $10 with some agricultural commodities to help in cushioning the effect of the pandemic which many have controversially argued about due to the nature of disbursement of funds and how the names came about.
The Afropop star in her submission beamed the light on those suffering the direst consequences of the pandemic, such as young women who are self-employed and are the sole providers for their families. She urged the international community to act swiftly in saving those affected from looming hunger.
“We are here to talk about half the world, the half that wakes up every morning to go to work despite and because of the global pandemic.
“It’s about the young woman who is struggling to make ends meet and risking her health to provide for her family.
“Let’s not let billions of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people fall through the cracks in our society,” she said.
Also, Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, called on all development partners to step up on social protection.
“We cannot afford to become inured to poverty, hunger and jobs figures that keep getting worse. We cannot sleepwalk into a new normal. Unprecedented action is needed, and it is needed now.
“There are some great examples of how developing countries are addressing social protection challenges—from cash to supplements income to in-kind assistance that supplements nutrition, to care systems geared towards working women.
“Unless we bring fresh perspective and ideas to the table, successful action will depend on an uneven patchwork of social assistance, social insurance and systems of care around the world,” she said.