This edition of the Social Panorama of Latin America examines the social impact of an unprecedented crisis. The effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have spread to all areas of human life, altering the way we interact, crippling economies and bringing about profound changes in societies. The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the major structural gaps in the region, and it is clear that the costs of inequality have become unsustainable and that it is necessary to rebuild with equality and sustainability, aiming for the creation of a true welfare state, long overdue in the region.
The document analyses the social trends that preceded the pandemic and seeks to measure its socioeconomic impacts in 2020, especially with regard to poverty and inequality, along with paid and unpaid work. It also examines public social spending trends in the countries of the region, the social protection measures adopted by the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean in response to the effects of the pandemic and the social unrest in the region prior to the crisis. In view of the unequal effects of the pandemic on women and men, there is also a call to invest in the care economy as a strategic sector for reactivation with equality.