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Joint work towards universal social protection and health care - Thursday 9 February, 11:30 - 12:45
The World Bank has taken position, starting in 2014, in favour of universal healthcare and later universal social protection. These policy positions were announced by the Bank’s president and mark a change in approach, at least on a rhetorical level, from previous Bank policies where governments were encouraged to assist only the most vulnerable through their social protection and healthcare policies. The Bank has also endorsed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which include targets for universal health care and the establishment of social protection floors. With the ILO, the bank co-chairs the Social Protection Inter-Agency Coordination Board, which has facilitated some joint initiatives for expanding universal social protection. Genuine support for universal social security, healthcare and education could make important contributions to the achievement of decent work and reduced inequality. However, in some client countries the Bank continues to promote social protection reforms that focus on targeting rather than broad coverage. Also, investments by the Bank in for-profit private healthcare and schools through its private-sector arm IFC are inconsistent with the objective of prioritizing universal health care and education rather than services for those able to pay for them.
Speakers: Michal Rutkowski (World Bank), Vinicius Pinheiro (ILO)
Discussants: Ath Thorn (CLC-Cambodia), Sandra Vermuyten (PSI)
Moderator: World Bank (TBD)