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publicationMay 30, 2024

Unleashing Adaptive Potential for Social Protection: Good Practices in The Latin America and Caribbean Region

A street in a city from the Caribbean devasted by a hurricane

A street in Dominica after a hurricane. Photo: GFDRR/World Bank 

In Latin America and the Caribbean, extreme weather events have doubled in the last 30 years. In addition to being more frequent, they are also increasingly intense. Nine countries in the region are among the world's top 20 countries with the highest risk of disasters. Between 2000 and 2019, for example, there were more than 20 devastating hurricanes that affected families, communities, businesses, and infrastructure, among others.  

As climate change accelerates in the region, disasters threaten, above all, the poorest and most vulnerable households by pushing them further into poverty and worsening their already precarious living conditions, reversing years of hard-won development gains.  

How to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in the context of these and other crises? The World Bank has highlighted the importance of Adaptive Social Protection, a framework dedicated to examining and identifying ways in which social protection systems can be prepared and improved in advance of major emergencies. This approach aims to strengthen the resilience of the most impoverished households.

A new report Unleashing Adaptive Potential for Social Protection – Good Adaptive Social Protection Practices in The Latin America and Caribbean Region shows the results of the World Bank's Social Protection Stress Test Assessments. These assessments were conducted by the Social Protection and Disaster Risk Management team in 14 countries of the region between 2021 and 2023. The Social Protection Stress Test is a country-level assessment that measures the level of adaptiveness of national social protection systems to scale up and respond to the growing needs caused by the onset of different shocks.  

The report presents a collection of good practices from various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region. These practices can serve as a guide for fostering dialogue and enhancing the adaptability and responsiveness of social protection systems in the region during times of crisis.