WASHINGTON, May 29, 2015 — The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$50 million credit to support the design of a new national social safety net program for Cote d’Ivoire, which aims to deliver targeted cash transfers and accompanying measures for building human capital and livelihoods to an estimated 35,000 households.
The credit supports the Productive Social Safety Net Project to establish the building blocks and initial implementation of a social safety net system that incorporates more accurate targeting mechanisms to identify the poor, and that includes accompanying measures such as nutrition support, outreach on the use of social services and measures to promote productivity and revenue generating activities. The project will initially target poor households located in the central, western and northern regions of Côte d’Ivoire.
“Building a social safety net system in Côte d’Ivoire is needed to more reliably and equitably channel much-needed resources to the poorest households,” says Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire. “Targeted, well designed social safety net systems such as that supported by this project can mitigate poverty, reduce inequality, encourage investments in human capital and improve individual productivity to help families lift themselves out of poverty.”
After decades of strong economic growth, a series of recent violent political and economic crises have led to a widespread deterioration of living standards in Côte d’Ivoire. Economic growth has slowed and is among the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of poor households in Cote d’Ivoire, or 68 percent, in live in predominantly rural areas.
The proposed project is designed to support the Government’s Cash Transfer "Plus" Program, which will develop a new targeting system, a household registry for social protection programs, a systematic payment mechanism, and a robust monitoring and evaluation system.
“Cash transfer programs in countries as diverse as Brazil, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh have demonstrated positive impacts on poverty and human capital in the short term, while also mitigating the intergenerational transmission of poverty over the long term. This project has been inspired by international best practice to create a cost effective and well-targeted social safety net system in Cote d’Ivoire,” says Azedine Ouerghi, the Task Team Leader for this Project.
Poor households with children younger than 15 years of age and those with pregnant women in selected regions will receive a unique identification number and included in the household registry and benefit from cash transfers for boosting household consumption of food, goods and services. An additional 105,000 households from targeted regions will also receive an identification number and access to accompanying measures.
“This project aims to boost social inclusion and expand livelihood opportunities to underprivileged households in rural communities in Côte d’Ivoire. Through this support, it will help to ensure that children of poor families gain access to better health, education and economic opportunities in the long term,” says, Heba Elgazzar the co-Task Team Leader for this Project.