We all know, that during, but primarily in “normal” times, well-functioning, rationally designed and financed social protection systems are powerful vaccines against the worst social fall-out of four of the main – largely self-inflicted – plagues of human societies, i.e. poverty, inequality, insecurity and avoidable ill-health.  It has been shown time and again[1] that at least a minimum level of universal social protection is affordable in all countries except probably a dozen or so of the poorest that would require temporary international help.

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