DFAT Pacific Series (Short) : Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Protection in The Pacific: The Role of Social Transfers

Pacific Island countries (PICs) have varying social protection systems, informal and traditional. These systems are important in supporting the most vulnerable members of society and those affected by personal and natural disasters. In the Pacific Islands social protection has typically been an area of low government involvement. Knowledge about formal social protection in the region is limited, and there have been no studies on the impact of such schemes on poverty, human development and economic growth.

This research paper—Poverty, vulnerability and social protection in the Pacific: The role of social transfers’—examines the evidence on poverty and vulnerability in the Pacific. It attempts to understand what causes poverty and assesses whether social transfers—understood to be the provision of regular and predictable cash transfers such as pensions, child grants, disability benefits and unemployment benefits—could play a role in tackling poverty.