Poverty Reduction and Investing in People: The New Role of Safety Nets in Africa - Experiences from 22 Countries

Safety nets are on the rise in Africa, and beginning to evolve from scattered standalone programs into systems. Until recently, many African countries approached social protection on an ad-hoc basis. But when the global crisis threatened recent progress in poverty reduction, safety nets increasingly began to be viewed as core instruments for poverty reduction in the region. Social protection programming has started to develop from emergency food aid programs to one-off interventions to regular and predictable safety nets, such as targeted cash transfers and cash-for-work programs. Some countries, such as Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania, now seek to consolidate programs into national systems. But as our review shows, there is still a long way to go.