While the organisation argued that social security measures had played a critical role in reducing the social impact of economic crises both now and in the past, it noted that basic social security coverage remained out of reach for most of the world, especially in low-income countries. The report titled “World Social Security Report 2010-2011: Providing coverage in times of crisis and beyond” the first in a series to be published every two years, also examined the gaps in access to social security programmes in areas such as health care, pensions, social assistance, and unemployment benefits. It also finds that most of world’s working age population and their families lack effective access to comprehensive social protection systems. Director-General of ILO, Juan Somavia, said: “The current crisis has highlighted the importance of having a minimum set of social security benefits for all in place. This is why we advocate for social security and a global social protection floor. This report shows that building adequate social protection for all, drawing on a basic social protection floor, as called for by the ILO Global Jobs Pact, is now more urgent than ever”. The report says that social security plays an important role in times of crisis, including the current one, as an “irreplaceable economic, social and political stabilizer” that provides income replacement and helps stabilize aggregate demand, without negatively effecting economic growth. However, the ILO study also warns that cutting social security due to fiscal consolidation aimed at coping with increased deficits and public debt “may not only directly affect social security beneficiaries and consequently the standards of living of a large portion of the population. Among its main findings: Taking into account those who are not economically active, it is estimated that only about 20 per cent of the world’s working age population and their families have effective access to comprehensive social protection systems. On average, 17.2 per cent of global GDP is allocated to social security. However, these expenditures are concentrated in higher_income countries. Worldwide, nearly 40 per cent of the population of working age is legally covered by contributory old_age pension schemes. In North America and Europe, this number is nearly double, while in Africa less than one_third of the working_age population is covered even by legislation. Effective coverage is significantly lower than legal coverage. In sub_Saharan Africa, only 5 per cent of the working_age population is effectively covered by contributory programmes, while this share is about 20 per cent in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa .