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More than five years on from the financial crisis, high rates of joblessness and income losses are worsening social conditions in many OECD countries. The capacity of governments to meet these challenges is constrained by fiscal consolidation. However, cuts in social spending risk adding to the hardship of the most vulnerable groups and could create problems for the future. OECD countries can effectively meet these challenges only with policies that are well designed and backed by adequate resources. Having been spared the worst impacts of the crisis, major emerging economies face different challenges. However, the experience of OECD counties is relevent for emerging economies as they continue to build and "crisis-proof" their social protection systems.