WASHINGTON, March 9, 2022 – The World Bank approved today a credit from the International Development Associated (IDA)* in the amount of $160 million to support Cameroon’s efforts to expand and modernize its social protection system and to create better employment opportunities for vulnerable urban youth.
The Adaptive Safety Nets and Economic Inclusion project, seeks specifically to: (i) expand the coverage and shock-responsive capacity of the safety nets system for poor households; and (ii) increase access to income-generation and entrepreneurship support opportunities for youth in urban areas.
The project will benefit poor households and urban youth ages 18 to 35, with internally displaced persons comprising an important share of beneficiaries. It is expected to reach 217,500 direct beneficiaries, with broad poverty reduction and job creation spillover effects on their households and communities. In addition, the project will finance the development of a social registry and a digital payment system to improve the country’s ability to deliver benefits safely, quickly, and transparently.
“Social assistance coverage in Cameroon continues to remain limited. It is therefore important to further strengthen social protection systems, especially for Women and Youth, to respond to different shocks. The COVID-19 response has highlighted the need to provide timely support to affected and vulnerable populations,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon. “In this context, it is particularly important to focus on the economic inclusion of youth, reducing youth underemployment and promoting youth entrepreneurship.”
The Adaptive Safety Nets and Economic Inclusion project will offer income support to build and protect human capital; promote youth economic inclusion and entrepreneurship; and will focus on developing a social registry and scaling up the digital government-to-person payment system.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.