A report highlighting critical interventions geared towards alleviating poverty and reducing socio-economic inequities including child poverty has been launched in Kampala.
The first ever Government of Uganda Social Protection Investment Case report will accelerate Uganda’s journey to become an upper Middle Income Country by 2040. The report is an important tool in supporting the government achieve its goal of reducing poverty and vulnerability-including the 55 per cent of children under five years of age who live in poverty and experience multiple deprivations.
“This Investment Case clearly demonstrates that investments in Social Protection bear high returns and improve human development and labour productivity, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable populations,” says Hajat Janat Mukwaya, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
While Uganda has experienced sustained economic growth for the last several years, ranking the country among the fastest growing in the world, many challenges remain in terms of leveraging this economic growth to bridge existing inequities and lifting the entire country up.
The Investment Case demonstrates the positive impact social protection interventions have had on some vulnerable populations in Uganda to-date as well as the great potential it offers to the poorest and most vulnerable across Uganda if further investments in social protection programmes are made.
The report was produced with support from UNICEF.
“The evidence is irrefutable, social protection programmes targeting lifecycle risks and vulnerabilities that people face at different stages in life have an extraordinary impact on the health, well-being and future potential of the children that benefit from them,” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Uganda.
Girma underscored the need to prioritise investments in the most impactful social protection interventions owing to the fact that social protection remains vital in redefining Uganda’s capacity for economic growth.
The investment case provides a wide range of micro-simulations of potential social protection programmes targeting different vulnerable groups such as mothers, young children, persons with disabilities and older persons, also show positive outcomes.
Ugandan children living in Poverty
In 2014, the Government of Uganda with support from UNICEF launched its Child Poverty and Deprivation report, which showed that 55% of children under the age of 5 – 3.7 million children – and 38% of all 6 – 17 year olds are currently living in poverty, deprived of at least 2 basic services they require to survive and develop to their fullest potential.
Furthermore, the report showed that 24% of children under the age of 5 – 1.6 million – and 18% of all 6 – 17 year olds are currently living in extreme poverty, in many cases fighting for their lives.
Financing Social Protection
The Investment Case stresses the need to create the fiscal space for the expansion of social protection. Sustainable financing for social protection can be generated through a combination of economic growth, domestic resource mobilization through tax revenues, and other strategies, including innovative Public-Private Partnership financing such as results-based Social Financing initiatives like Social Impact Bonds.
With the Investment Case now at hand, it is imperative that government and partners decide which Social Protection interventions to pursue and how to finance them, both in the short, medium and long term.
The Social Protection Investment Case can be downloaded here.