I have just read a paper on social protection in Africa with which I profoundly disagree. It has a good main title – “Beware of the Crocodile” – but it goes steadily downhill from there. Even the sub-title is misleading: “Quantitative Evidence on How Universal Old Age Grants Distort the Social Assistance Systems of Low-Income Countries”.
The COVID-19 crisis is heavily affecting economic activity and financial markets. While global stock markets have recovered after a sharp fall at the onset of the crisis, changes in interest rates, currency fluctuations and generalized uncertainty regarding the development of the pandemic continue to disrupt investment policies and strategies. In addition to the need to revise investment strategies, the surge in benefit demand and drop in contribution income has had a significant impact on asset-liability management approaches adopted by social security institutions.
It is recognised in the current response to COVID-19 that both social protection and humanitarian actors must work together in different ways across the ‘nexus’ depending on country context, and that one actor alone cannot and should not do it all.
The multiple deprivations affecting vulnerable populations are the greatest hurdle to achieving zero hunger. By directly addressing structural barriers, social protection can help WFP achieve its mandate on nutrition and food insecurity, and reach the most vulnerable, including people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV. Reaching zero hunger requires integrated programming aimed at all vulnerable population groups to enable them to access the support systems and services they need to be drawn out of poverty.
This report seeks to build on the 2009 analysis and begin a systematic process to better understand the strengths and challenges of school feeding programmes globally. It is a work in progress, and presents the current status of our understanding of school feeding. Information was drawn from a global survey conducted by WFP in early 2012 and a series of case studies and peer-reviewed technical working papers undertaken in collaboration with partners. The analysis led to the identification of new areas that require more focused attention.