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In a world filled with risk and potential, social protection and labor systems help people and families find jobs, improve productivity, cope with shocks, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect the aging population. The World Bank supports social protection and labor programs in developing countries as a central part of its mission to reduce poverty through sustainable and inclusive growth.
Social protection programs comprise of both social assistance (such as cash transfers, school feeding, targeted food assistance and subsidies) and social insurance (such as old-age, survivorship, disability pensions, and unemployment insurance). They can have a direct, positive impact on poor families by building human capital through better health, more schooling, and greater skills.
Jobs, too, are critical for reducing poverty and promoting prosperity. All countries, regardless of income, face challenges creating and sustaining adequate job opportunities for their citizens
In 2016, the world will begin the pursuit of an ambitious new development agenda, under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Social protection systems, figure prominently among the SDGs. Goal 1.3 calls for the implementation of “nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable”. Universal coverage and access to social protection are central to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank’s twin goals by 2030
Annual lending for social protection and labor has remained steady, averaging $1.8 billion from 2012 until 2014. The World Bank is also scaling up social safety nets, with $32 million of financing toward the three hardest hit Ebola-affected countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Last Updated: Sep 09, 2015