How countries are helping their citizens tide over the pandemic

Gayatri Vinayak

India recently gave a sharp retort to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet where he offered to share the country’s experience with its cash transfer scheme. As part of a Rs 1,200 billion relief package, Pakistan is giving Rs 12,000 monthly, for four months, as cash assistance to families of daily wage earners whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

During an online session, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava responded that the size of India’s economic stimulus package for the pandemic is as large as Pakistan’s GDP. Last month, India had announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package for various sectors, however, according to experts, immediate cash transfers would also be required to save vulnerable sections of the economy.

As per the World Bank, the pandemic has plunged most countries into recession with per capita income dipping to 3.6 per cent, contracting the most since 1870 and pushing millions into poverty. As people slowly get back to work with many countries easing lockdowns, some are faced with the prospect of working at a much lower salary, while many others have lost their jobs.

Countries have announced various stimulus packages and direct cash assistance to the millions whose livelihoods have been uprooted because of the pandemic. We take a look at the cash schemes that countries have launched to help people whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted because of the pandemic.