Stimulus packages must target job creation, preservation and social protection as central to quick growth and thus economic recovery, underlined a high level forum of 11 Asian nations, gathered to analyse critical policy response to tackle economic slowdown.
The meeting, "Responding to the Economic Crisis — Coherent Policies for Growth, Employment and Decent Work in Asia and the Pacific", was convened by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with participants from the Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other UN agencies, at Philippines' capital city Manila.
"The crisis is severe and we haven't seen the worst of it. The poorest and most vulnerable could be severely hit by its brutality as it spreads. To be effective, we must ensure that assistance reaches all levels of the society, and most importantly to the working poor," ILO's Regional Director for Asia and Pacific Sachiko Yamamoto said in a statement released in New Delhi.
Calling for coherent regional and international responses to the crisis, Yamamoto added, "a strong message came from the meeting for coherent and co-ordinated responses taking into account social as well as economic factors."
Practical measures called for during the meeting included protecting jobs; targeted support to rural and agricultural economy, and for vulnerable groups like migrant workers, informal sector workers, women and young people; collective bargaining and social dialogue for negotiating wages, temporary lay-offs and severance packages.