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Top 10 countries for best social safety nets to battle COVID-19 are all in Europe

Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Coronavirus has wrecked havoc on industries, businesses, and jobs across the world. This has meant that social safety nets are essential in making sure the nations’ citizens are able to survive when job losses rocket and the ability to put food on the table has become more difficult.

And, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the top 10 countries for best social safety nets to battle COVID-19 are all in Europe.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released a special edition of its highly-anticipated Global Competitiveness Report — entitled Global Competitiveness Report Special Edition 2020: How Countries are Performing on the Road to Recovery that takes into account how countries have handled the pandemic and how prepared they are to deal with the evolving aftermath.

The report is based on data gathered from 37 countries. While it says that “no country is fully prepared,” to battle the current affects of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged business across the globe, it has identified 11 priorities for countries to focus on to bring back economic growth and one of the sub-indexes that made up a digital pillar was how countries can accommodate social safety nets.

This isn’t just for social good — this is essential for a country to weather the impact of coronavirus and make sure its economy doesn’t slip further.

According to WEF’s assessments, Denmark came out on top while the rest of the top 10 all came from Europe. However, the UK didn’t even feature:

Graphic: WEF
Graphic: WEF

WEF said social safety nets, alongside having an advanced digital economy and robust healthcare systems are helping them navigate the impact of COVID-19 better than others. It also pointed out that social safety nets is a top five area that experienced the most upward movement in government's responsiveness to change.

“One important component of policies to curb inequality and manage the technology — and recession-driven shifts in the workforce is adequate and agile social safety nets,” said WEF.

“While this is already the case in some progressive countries, they are often centred around income-support.

“Instead, future-looking approaches should better integrate income support with adaptation of labour laws and expand the social protection floor, including easing access to education, training and health to support the full development of citizens’ human capital. This approach should succeed in protecting and rewarding workers rather than jobs—and deploying technology to facilitate the shifts for workers is crucial.”

WATCH: World Economic Forum to coordinate business response to virus

Check out Yahoo Finance UK for more bite-size articles and analysis from the Global Competitiveness Report Special Edition 2020: How Countries are Performing on the Road to Recovery