FINCON: Striving for Social Protection
“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”
Poverty reduction is the result of several interacting factors: redistribution of incomes, social protection, efficient service delivery; and pro-poor economic growth.
Social protections enhance the capacity of poor and vulnerable persons to manage economic and social risks such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, disability and old age. Social protection and provision can also enhance the productive capabilities of poor men and women, reducing poverty and inequality and stimulating pro-poor growth.
International commitments to global poverty reduction reflected in the Millennium Development Goals have focused attention on the extent and persistence of poverty in developing countries. Social protection has become a social policy agenda in developing countries. It is an evolving concept, crossing many sectors and with no clearly defined boundaries.
In Pakistan, poverty is widespread, and is predominantly a rural phenomenon with nearly two thirds of the population living in rural areas. Our experience working in Pakistan has taught us that there are many reasons for such a high rate of poverty:
- Poor governance,
- Political Instability,
- Inadequate Access to Justice,
- Weak Public Sector Capacity,
- Non-transparent Resource Allocation, and
- A low level of Human Development.
However, the Government of Pakistan, NGOs and the private sector are implementing programs aimed at social protection to better respond to the needs of the poor. Such programs provide economic assistance by creating income and employment opportunities and increasing access to basic services.