Emergency Policies and Universal Basic Income proposals in Latin America in times of pandemic

The COVID19 pandemic has impacted all economies around the world, especially the most unequal ones, such as Latin America, worsening structural socio-economic problems. The unprecedented state intervention triggered the debates to redefine the agenda of the states in their role of guaranteeing human rights. Furthermore, the United Nations ECLAC launched the proposal of Universal Basic Income (IBU) as an alternative for tackling structural problems in Latin America and meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

In this paper I analyse the emergency responses during the COVID19 pandemic and their impact on the vulnerable sectors, adding a closer look at the Argentine case. I then explore the proposal for an “Emergency Basic Income” for the region launched by ECLAC in 2020, and its proposal for a permanent UBI, in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, I offer a reading of the context and challenges for the implementation of a policy such as the IBU in the region.