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PRESS RELEASE March 1, 2019

Madagascar: World Bank $90 Million to Strengthen the National Social Protection Programs

WASHINGTON, March 1st, 2019 - The World Bank approved today a $90 million additional grant for the Social Safety Net Project (SSNP) to help increase access of extremely poor households to safety net services and strengthen the foundations of the national social protection system.

Since 2015, with support from the ongoing SSNP, the Government of Madagascar has established the basic elements of a targeted social safety net system. The SSNP has launched three cash transfer programs for poor and vulnerable households: The Productive Safety Net Program cash-for-work, the Human Development Cash Transfer for families with young children, and the FIAVOTA emergency response for drought affected households in the South. To date, the SSNP has reached more than 140,000 beneficiary households across seven regions and 17 districts.

Results from midline impact evaluations of these Social Safety Net programs show that these programs are helping to address multi-dimensional poverty and build human capital. These encouraging results provide a guide to the next step in establishing a strong safety net”, said Laura Rawlings, World Bank Task Team Leader for the operation. “This additional financing will contribute to strengthening Madagascar’s nascent social safety system, both for addressing the needs of extremely poor households and for responding to disasters.

Social safety net coverage and financing are expanding but remain extremely limited. Safety net programs are operational in only ten percent of the poorest districts and reach only three percent of households in extreme poverty.

A long-term sustainable national social safety net is necessary to reduce structural poverty”, said Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar. “The World Bank is committed to accompanying the Government in its drive to make the social protection sector a high priority.”

This second additional financing will ensure continuity of the cash transfers to most of the current households and beneficiaries, while improving and expanding the programs: in Manandriana (Amoron’I Mania) and Arivonimamo (Itasy) for the cash transfer programs and in Toliara II (Atsimo-Andrefana) for the Human Development Cash Transfer program. The project will further strengthen the accompanying measures for the beneficiary households to develop human capital and provide them with opportunities to seek a sustained improvement in their living conditions. With this additional financing, the total beneficiaries of the SSNP are brought to 750,000 vulnerable persons.

The World Bank has supported Madagascar to build its social protection system since 2015 with the first IDA funded-project in the amount of $40 million in 2015, followed by a first Additional Credit in an amount of $35 million in October 2016 to respond to an El Niño driven severe drought in the South of Madagascar.




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