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Social Protection in Afghanistan Ministry Of Education, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled UNICEF Arusha, Tanzania 15-17 December 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Protection in Afghanistan Ministry Of Education, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled UNICEF Arusha, Tanzania 15-17 December 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Protection in Afghanistan Ministry Of Education, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled UNICEF Arusha, Tanzania December 2014

2 Country Context (War, Poverty & Inequity) Coming out of 36 years of war, Afghanistan is still a fragile state with 16 of 34 provinces facing security threats & suicide attacks are daily challenges; despite all this since 2002, we have been trying to piece together shattered systems 42% live on USD 1/ day; 36.5% of the population has a consumption pattern of below the poverty line (NRVA ) Gini Index increased from 29.7 (in 2008) to 31.6 (in 2012) and share of the poorest quintile in national consumption declined from 9.1 to 8.5 % Fifty-five percent of households are in debt, to an average amount of 77 thousand Afs (US $1400)

3 Country Context (Food Security & Household Structure) Around 30.1% of Afghanistan’s population – 7.6 million people – had a calorie intake that is insufficient to sustain a healthy and active life Out of the 28.2% of the food-insecure, 2.2 million (8.5%) are very severely food-insecure and 2.4 million (9.5%) severely food-insecure Average household size is 7.3 persons with on average 3.5 children Close to one-third of all Afghans live in households with 10 or more people (only less than 3% live with three or fewer persons) Only 2% of households –around 70 thousand –are female-headed

4 Country Context (Access to education & Health) All levels of education & health care are free (private sector has emerged only in the past 12 yrs) Twenty-five years olds who have completed any level of formal education make less than 25% (10% for women) Net primary attendance ratios for girls and boys are now 48 and 64%, (up from 29 and 43 percent in 2005, and 42 and 60 percent in ) Adult literacy rate is 45 percent for men and a low 17 percent for women. Unequal access to health care between urban and rural populations is a main concerns e.g., in urban areas 76% of deliveries assisted by skilled health personnel while in rural areas it is only 33% and for Kuchi women it is 13% Women served by skilled birth attendants increased to 40% (from 24% in and only 16 in 2005).

5 Safety Nets in Afghanistan Emergency Relief Fund targets victims of natural disasters (national Disaster Relief Office) Formal safety net programs are modest, both in terms of coverage and spending (with the main public cash transfer program of benefits for families of Martyr and Disabled consuming less than 0.5% of GDP Various food-for-work, cash-for-work or income-generating programmes employed only over 420,000 people benefitting 320,000 households. Pension scheme for public sector employees covers only around 100,000 beneficiaries. Distribution of land plots, cash and in kind transfers to vulnerable population on ad-hoc basis Public works and skill development programs are scattered and small in scope Other ministries and donor-driven safety net programs transfer resources to a small number of needy households, including during emergencies

6 Challenges The country is facing a financial crisis as the public budget is nearing a fiscal deficit ceiling of a USD 1 billion Government of Afghanistan is ranked third in the world in CORRUPTION With a very narrow tax base, the government relies on (68% of the national budget is from international aid). Major share of the national budget goes to security, infrastructure, education and health while a small share for social protection focuses only on pension and targeting mainly the disabled, widows and martyrs Many households resort to food intake reduction (42% experienced a shock), selling production means or taking out children from school for low-paid jobs (drop out is %) Target groups such as the chronically poor that live under 1$ a day, marginalized, vulnerable are yet receive any kind of social protection

7 Way Forward (1-2) MoLSAMD as the focal ministry in Social Protection Government has recently laid out its vision of reforms in the social protection sector in the ANDS In pensions, the main objective is to ensure fiscal sustainability and pension program, making it consistent with the broader public sector reform agenda In safety nets, the objective is to develop fiscally sound and well-targeted social protection interventions to cover Displaced and refugees, Women- headed households, Extremely poor, Households with a disabled person, Household with Vulnerable children and household with Aged (people above the age of 65 years) Get rid of child labor in Afghanistan & privatize all kindergartens and re- organize of the orphanages operating under the Ministry Set up 170 Day Care Centers over a period of five years Set up shelters for women in difficult circumstances. Provide for welfare of street children.

8 Way Forward (2-2) Recently elected President tasked a team to develop a National Social Policy Policy development process is designed to entail wide-spread dialogues The policy is expected to guide: Initiation of a Social Protection Floor Integration to the mainstream of the vulnerable & excluded & the poor Expansion of a range of instruments available for social protection Improving implementation mechanisms including monitoring & evaluation mechanism The UN-family & World Bank are helping the government in this process

9 Government of Afghanistan would like to thank the UNICEF Tanzania Office for the invitation to attend and participate in in the International Conference on Social Protection as well as thank UNICEF Afghanistan for their continued support. Special thanks go to the RCO in Kabul Office for supporting the travel of the Afghan Delegation


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