Since the onset of the COVID-19 health crisis, and associated stringency measures, governments have acted in support of businesses and individuals by activating fiscal stimulus measures and introducing or expanding social protection programs. Initiatives to collect, analyze and monitor social protection responses have generated a wealth of evidence on the most aspects of the crisis. However, limited information is available on how these responses are financed.
This rapid review maps and compares sources of financing for COVID-19 social protection measures in a selection of countries. It compares financing across domestic and external sources. The former includes spending restructuring such as reallocation or reprioritized committed budget as well as tax relief and exemptions; national debt and deficit measures; and tapping state reserves and contingent funds. Externally, international financing institutions have provided funds in the form of concessional loans and grant assistance, while bilateral and multilateral development actors provided most assistance in the form of grants. Ten stylized facts emerge from the analysis.