A health crisis that has particularly affected the poorest. What are the expected effects on poverty in France?
The health crisis has particularly affected the poorest, who have faced major difficulties in terms of subsistence, health and access to distance education during the confinement. It has unveiled certain shortcomings of policies to reduce poverty.
The economic and social crisis resulting from the pandemic and the measures taken to combat it will undoubtedly have an intense effect on poverty, which will manifest itself both quickly and in the long run and to which the most precarious are already and will be particularly exposed.
The social and fiscal measures that existed before the crisis and the measures taken by the government since the onset of the crisis, such as the emergency measures put in place from March 2020 or the launch of "France relance" recovery planin September 2020, will be able to mitigate the effects of the crisis.
Vigilance points for the response to the crisis
For the Evaluation Committee, and the CNLE's 5th College and the citizens’ panel also raised this point, these measures do not meet all the needs in the fight against poverty revealed and generated by the crisis, and do little for people living in poverty. They need to be supplemented. Prime Minister Jean Castex indicated in July 2020 in his general policy speech that the National Strategy for the prevention and fight against poverty would be adapted "according to the economic situation".
Thus, this progress report expresses eight points of vigilance regarding the political response to this crisis that would be provided through an evolution of the Strategy.
The committee underlines the importance of maintaining the long-term vision of the strategy, allocating new financial resources to take into account new needs, reinforcing the fight against non-take up and actions to reach people in the need, and being attentive to territorial inequalities on the one hand and on the financial difficulties that associations are experiencing on the other.
It also emphasizes the importance of addressing the needs related to the digital divide and the difficulties in accessing rights, the major educational disruption that has taken place over many months, the educational inequalities that need to be addressed, and school dropouts. Finally, people who have been little affected by the measures introduced since March due to eligibility requirements have seen their situation worsen and must be the subject of increased attention.
About the Evaluation Committee
Chaired by Louis Schweitzer, the evaluation committee for the National Strategy for the prevention and fight against poverty published a progress note last March to specify the methods used to measure the achievement of the objectives set by the strategy, before implementing the evaluation. A first monitoring and evaluation report, taking into account the health crisis's effects, will be published next spring.
France Stratégie steers the evaluation committee, with the support of the main research and statistics departments concerned by the strategy: DARES, DEPP, DREES, INED, INSEE, SDES, and the statistics departments of the CNAF and Pôle emploi.