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Insights Into Informal Workers and Their Health Report

Over the past century, The Rockefeller Foundation has remained true to the pursuit of health access for all mankind. We have helped to build and develop schools of medicine and public health, contributed to new medicines and treatments that helped cure patients and advanced the field of health. Our long history has given the foundation a unique place in the field of global health. We have the ability and privilege to convene great minds, catalyze new initiatives, identify new opportunities and increase global health and wellbeing.

Most recently, the Foundation has been attuned to the health of informal workers. Driven by the current structure of the developing world’s economic sector where informality is the norm, we are brought to reckoning by the fact that 60 percent of the world’s workforce is informal, with the highest proportion being in Africa and Asia, and predominantly involving youth and women.

The current structure of informal work is characterized by lack of social protection – including pension and health care – and erratic earnings. Living as such, when informal workers face health challenges it easily leads to potentially catastrophic impact on their livelihoods.

Informal workers are highly networked along their employment, religion and other aspects of their lives. These networks serve as natural aggregators and provide an important trusted enabler in their context, where they are often disconnected from existing health systems.