Dr Ganga Tilakaratna speaks on the importance of broadening social protection in South Asia at the launch of UNESCAP report

20 April 2021

Dr Ganga Tilakaratna spoke on the importance of broadening social protection in South Asia at the Panel Discussion on ‘Perspectives from the South Asia Subregion’ at the launch of the 2021 Theme StudyBeyond the Pandemic: Building Back Better from Crises in Asia and the Pacific” organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Dr Tilakaratna noted that broadening social protection to provide coverage to those who are currently excluded from the social protection systems, particularly the informal sector workers who account for a large share of the workforce of South Asian countries, is an important step towards achieving universal social protection in South Asia. She further argued that while broadening social protection – both in terms of the spectrum of programmes and coverage, it is also important to take measures to improve efficiency and ensure sustainability of the social protection systems. She went on to point out three such measures for the South Asian countries (1) building integrated social protection systems, (2) creating sound delivery systems and (3) increased investment in social protection.

The virtual event of was attended by over 200 participants from Asia and the Pacific region. The opening remarks were made by Dr Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.