The International Labour Organization (ILO) warned about 400 million people working in the informal sector in India may sink into poverty due to the coronavirus crisis. The UN’s labour body further considers that 195 million full-time jobs globally may wipe out in the second half of the year.
In its report, the ILO titled ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work’, describes the coronavirus pandemic as “the worst global crisis since World War II” and says it is having “catastrophic consequences” globally.
On Tuesday, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said that “Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies. We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”
The report reveals that the pandemic has already affected tens of millions of informal workers and two billion people in the informal sector are also at risk.
“In India, Nigeria and Brazil, the number of workers in the informal economy affected by the lockdown and other containment measures is substantial,” ILO said.
“In India, with a share of almost 90 percent of people working in the informal economy, about 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. Current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas,” it said.
Europe, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific may witness large reductions. Accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities are at most risk. Near about 81 percent of the global workforce is currently affected by full or partial workplace closures, it said.
Some regions, especially Africa have higher levels of informality which is combined with the lack of social protection, high population density and weak capacity.