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Social Assistance and Covid-19: Reaching the Furthest Behind First?

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Social assistance has been a vital part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic to buffer against the worst of its socioeconomic consequences. But it is not clear whether these measures were inclusive of the most marginalised individuals or reached the furthest behind first. This review of experiences across low- and middle-income countries shows that many vulnerable groups received support, including those who were previously excluded. However, experiences differ across countries, contexts, and populations. By identifying the factors that contributed to in- or exclusion, we can learn important lessons for future social assistance and wider social protection systems.

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