Social protection: Opportunities for Africa
Abstract"Social protection involves policies and programs that protect people against risk and vulnerability, mitigate the impacts of shocks, and support people who suffer from chronic incapacities to secure basic livelihoods. It can also build assets, reducing both short-term and intergenerational transmission of poverty. It includes social insurance (such as health, life, and asset insurance, which may involve contributions from employers and/or beneficiaries); social assistance (mainly cash, food, vouchers, or subsidies); and services (such as maternal and child health and nutrition programs). Interventions that provide training and credit for income-generating activities also have a social protection component. Interest in social protection is growing across Africa, fueled by persistent high rates of poverty and malnutrition; the undermining of livelihoods and family-based support systems by shocks such as the AIDS epidemic; volatile food prices and the calamities of weather and war; extensive evidence that denying children basic nutrition, health, and education has lifelong, irreversible, and intergenerational consequences; and growing evidence of the effectiveness of social protection in low-income countries throughout the world—particularly in contributing to poverty reduction and improved health, nutrition, and education. Approaches vary across regions and countries, with a notable introduction or scale-up of cash transfers for the very poor in southern and East Africa. While many programs have been undertaken on a pilot basis, successful implementation of large-scale social protection programs in Ethiopia and South Africa—each with more than 8 million beneficiaries—has demonstrated that social protection systems are no longer only within the reach of rich countries." from Author's text
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series Policy briefs with number 5.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Social protection; Poverty reduction; Hunger; Cash transfers;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.