The ISSA Liaison Office for the Andean Countries promotes regional social security cooperation and networking, and supports the ISSA by promoting the Association’s products and services, organizing events, and facilitating the exchange of good practices among social security institutions in the region.
Acting as a channel of communication between the Andean countries and the ISSA General Secretariat, the Liaison Office for the Andean Countries gathers information on the interests and needs specific to the countries of the region and collaborates in the design of a tailored capacity-building programme for these countries.
While the Andean countries count around 145 million inhabitants, only 32% of the population is covered by social protection. Poverty and inequality are some of the main issues to be addressed by the countries that compose this region. Within Latin America, the Andean countries have one of the highest shares of informal workers. An important part of the labour force is therefore difficult to protect against the contingences during their working life and in retirement.
Social security plays an important role in mitigating the effects of a wide range of factors associated with inequality. In the short term, it acts to reduce poverty gaps and cushion the consequences of crises by addressing reductions in income through financial transfers. In the longer term, it supports human capital development through facilitating access to employment and training opportunities as well as health care services.
There is free labour migration within the Andean Community, and the Andean Social Security Instrument (Instrumento Andino de Seguridad Social) and the Andean Occupational Safety and Health Instrument (Instrumento Andino de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo) aim to provide adequate social security and occupational safety and health protection for Andean workers moving from one member country to another.
Looking to the future and encouraged by positive developments, the challenges of how to extend sustainable social security and health care systems to provide adequate coverage across the life cycle will remain high in the agenda of the region.