Thursday, 23 November 2017

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Social protection can lift millions out of poverty

04 Expo2015 Ban Ki Moon

16.10.2015 - «Calling hunger a terrible injustice» Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked World Food Day with a visit to the Milan Expo World's Fair, which is focusing on food security and nutrition.

Mr. Ban called for «food security for all the people around the world (and) to build a global movement to end hunger».

The theme for this year’s World Food Day is «Social protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty».

«Social security reaches the most vulnerable. It prevents people from falling into extreme hardship. And it protects household food and nutrition security. To end hunger for all people forever, we have to recognize the indivisibility of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals» says Mr. Ban.

To end hunger is Sustainable Development Goal number two, and WFP has launched a #ZeroHunger campaign in order to create awareness about the subject.

You can find more information on how you can contribute here.

FieldActivity 01A recent report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) underlines how social protection has the potential to eradicate poverty and hunger. Still, social protection measures often face the preconception that they create dependency among the poorest. However, social protection is far more than a safety net for the poor, says Director-General of FAO, Graziano da Silva.

«Social protection services increase demand for locally produced goods and services contributing to higher incomes and more spending power. But social protection alone cannot sustainably move people out of poverty and hunger. In rural areas social protection must go hand in hand with agricultural policies» he says.

In Zambia, where 60.5 percent of the population live below the national poverty line, the Social Cash Transfer programme for instance, has been a great success. The programme led to a 34 percent increase in land dedicated to crop production as well as an increase in the use of agricultural inputs, including seeds, fertilizers and hired labour. After a positive evaluation in 2013 it was decided that the number of households benefitting from the programme was to be increased from 60,000 to 190,000 in 2014.

However, it is crucial that transfer levels are consistent and big enough, writes team leader of the FAO-led project «From Protection to Production (PtoP)», Benjamin Davis, in a blog post:

FAO Amos Gumulira «Programme impacts are bigger - both for livelihoods as well as education, health and consumption - when transfers are regular and predictable, which allows households to plan their spending and smooth their consumption, essentially expanding their time horizon and letting them think about the future, instead of just daily survival».

In 2006, the International Labour Organization (ILO) calculated that less than 2 percent of the global GDP would be necessary to provide a basic set of social security benefits to all people living in poverty.

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