July 17

How Social Impact Startups Are Solving Brazil’s COVID-19 Challenges

By Fabian Salum & Felipe Monteiro

In the current crisis, Brazil is unfortunately the country with the second highest number of cases, surpassing one million Covid-19 positive tests by mid-June. A month later, more than 70,000 lives have been lost.

More than 40 percent of Brazil’s employment is part of the informal workforce, which translates into poorer access to social security benefits, public health and established credit, according to the World Bank. Naturally the pandemic has weakened already fragile connections. There is a cascading effect: The poor social security system undermines the informal workers’ ability to comply with social isolation measures since they need to go out to work and provide for their families.

About 80 percent of Brazil’s poorest classes lack the cash reserves to face a month without income. Precarity hinders those actions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Overcrowded housing without basic sanitation makes it nigh impossible to implement simple recommendations, like hand washing. In Brazil, 48 percent of the population doesn’t have access to a sewage collection system, and there are 35 million people without access to clean water. Thus, in the context of Covid-19, inequality represents just as significant a risk factor as age or certain chronic illnesses like diabetes.

Photo courtesy of geralt.

Source: Insead Knowledge (link opens in a new window)

edtech, healthcare technology, SDGs, social enterprise, startups