World Bank Helps Senegal Strengthen Social Safety Nets

February 18, 2015

DAKAR, February 19, 2015 – The Government of Senegal launched today a 40.5 million dollar International Development Association (IDA) credit to help Senegal establish the building blocks for a national social safety net system and provide targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households. The project was approved in May 2014 by the World Bank Executive Board of Directors.

Implemented by Senegal’s Social Protection and National Solidarity Delegation (Délégation Générale à la Protection Sociale et la Solidarité Nationale or DGPSN), the Social Safety Net Project will contribute to the establishment of the first-ever unique registry of vulnerable households that will allow all social programs to identify and target their beneficiaries more efficiently.

Senegal has a unique opportunity to build a robust safety net system. The registry will be the cornerstone of this system and will provide for efficient targeting of the country’s most vulnerable,” notes Vera Songwe, World Bank Country Director for Senegal. “Such a system will allow the government to better assist the poor and build resilience to shock,” she added.

Of the 40.5 million dollars, 25.7 million dollars will be spent on transfers to the poorest households that are beneficiaries of the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer (Programme National de Bourses de Sécurité Familiale or PNBSF). In addition, 4.9 million dollars will be dedicated to information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns that promote investments in preventive health care, hygiene, nutrition, early childhood, and education.

These accompanying measures are an essential part of the cash transfer program as money alone cannot bring about sustainable change. Households need to invest into their human capital, and especially those of their children, in order to break the cycle of poverty,” explains Aline Coudouel, World Bank Lead Economist for Social Protection.

The project seeks to develop efficient management information systems that can ensure transparent targeting in the unique registry. It will also provide the PNBSF with the means to ensure payments to beneficiaries, verify children’s school attendance, and implement promotion modules that will give families the means to emerge from situations of extreme poverty. In strengthening the institutional capacity of the DGPSN, it will improve sector coordination with key actors to achieve shared sectoral objectives.

In addition to the IDA funded project, the World Bank Group is preparing a new project to strengthen social protection measures that aim to mitigate the impact of climate change and other shocks on the poorest households, in the framework of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Trust Fund. This 11 million dollars project is currently under preparation and will be launched in 2016.

Senegal, along with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, is a beneficiary of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Trust Fund, a development initiative launched last year to help these Sahelian nations move away from expensive emergency aid, reduce poverty, and build long-term food security and climate resilience. Adaptive social protection is a new integrated approach that helps protect poor households from climate and other shocks before they occur by providing regular cash transfers, building community assets, and strengthening human capital. The trust fund benefits from the initial support of 75 million dollars from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The UK is pleased to have been able to support the World Bank’s Adaptive Social Protection Trust Fund with a significant investment and is delighted that Senegal is an early beneficiary of the Fund. The UK’s contribution will help to reinforce the Government’s Programme National de Bourses de Sécurité Familiale giving hundreds of thousands of the most disadvantaged households in Senegal the opportunity to escape from extreme poverty,” stated His Excellency John Marshall, British Ambassador to Senegal.

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