informal sector

[HLPF side event] Stakeholder Group on Ageing presents “COVID-19 Pandemic: A Stress Test of Global Ageing”

SGA Official Side Event at the UN High-level Political Forum

Older persons have been among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many respects the pandemic could be viewed as a test of how prepared/or not Member States are for the rapidly ageing society.

Pandemics disrupt and have the potential to drive change. Only a whole-of-society, whole-of-government approach can respond effectively to the dynamic challenges of this time.

In his report, the UN Secretary-General presented new research on how longevity has the power to transform labour markets, economies and societies. The recently released WHO Global Report on Ageism shows that one in two people hold ageist attitudes towards older people.

This side event will focus on: Health and Long Term Care, Economic Development and Work and Technology in ageist environment during the pandemic

Register here: zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUofuqrrD4rG9XfaonPbRnBxmTDIDOXF4yw

Program

Welcome: Ms. Erica Dhar, Co-Chair, Stakeholder Group on Ageing

Keynote address: Prof. Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School

Panel moderator: Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing

5 Minute Lightning Round Interventions

  • H.E. Ms. Barbro Westerholm, Member of Parliament, Sweden
  • Dr. Ad van Berlo, Chief Executive Officer and R&D Manager, Smart Homes
  • Ms. Aura Sevilla, Programme Consultant for South East Asia and Older Workers, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
  • Ms. Grace Chan, Business Director, Hong Kong Council of Social Service

Closing remarks: Ms. Amal Abou Rafeh, Chief of the Programme on Ageing Unit, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

This event will be available at no cost and a recording will be available following the live event. For more information regarding the programme and speaker biographies please visit ifa.ngo/driving-our-agenda/united-nations.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

From Theory to Praxis: Climate Justice Implementation Strategies and Best-Practices

At the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, we are ready for the second webinar of our new series “#ClimateJustice 4 All: An Approach to Intersectional and Feminist #ClimateAction” in partnership with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.

Join us before #EarthDay2021 with International Human Rights Lawyer and Member of Women and Gender Constituency, UNFCCC Kavita Naidu,Shadow Secretary of State for Justice in England David Lammy, and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action Eriel Deranger. Learn about how we can effectively tackle racial, social, and climate injustice, and the challenges as well as opportunities to consider for intersectional climate action.

Register here!

The session will emphasize climate movements as well as traditional ecological knowledge and will investigate the role of social justice when tackling the climate emergency.

During this webinar, participants get an introduction to the landscape of diverse projects tackling climate change with an intersectional approach. Implementation strategies, and improving already existing environmental programs or movements lie at the heart of this session. After listening to best practices and occurring challenges, participants will get the opportunity to share their thoughts and exchange their vision towards inclusive climate action!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org