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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa
2016-02-08T21:45:11Z | 2016-02-08T21:45:11Z | 2012-06

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that individuals and households experience a range of positive outcomes from social protection. Social protection increases productivity and growth. Countries can realize significant benefits by creating an integrated social protection system. Social protection is affordable in low-income countries despite tight budgets. While overall spending on social protection in Africa remains low by international standards, experience suggests that social protection programs can achieve national coverage at the cost of only 1 to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). While this is only a portion of the financing required to operate a social protection system, it draws attention to what countries can achieve in the short-term. Indeed, one way in which existing social protection spending can be made significantly more efficient would be by reallocating existing financing for inefficient subsidies and ad hoc emergency food aid to predictable safety nets. At the same time, pursuing reforms to social security systems will ensure their fiscal sustainability, while expanding coverage. Notably, the costs of not protecting poor families are very high, are borne disproportionately by women and children, and undermine the productivity of future generations. The Strategy will be implemented by leveraging partnerships, knowledge, and the World Bank's financing instruments. The World Bank will continue to invest in analytical work to fill knowledge gaps and promote an evidence-based dialogue for social protection systems in Africa and further innovation. It will work with governments to build country-owned national social protection systems with the aim of reducing fragmentation in the sector. The Bank also will pay particular attention to institutional development and capacity building by using its lending to increase the coverage of successful social protection interventions. Throughout this work, the Bank will work in coordination with governments, development partners, the private sector, academics, civil society, and beneficiaries.

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