Addressing the Myths: The affordability of social protection


Summary on the major considerations and evidence around the affordability of social protection programs

The need to increase coverage of social protection is great: around 5 billion people - 73 per cent of the world’s population - still live without adequate income security and/or access to social protection and about 870 million people in extreme poverty remain uncovered.

Given the proven impacts of social protection this lack of coverage can have very significant negative implications for child outcomes and development. However, concerns about the affordability of social protection programs - and the long run financial obligations they create, can present major challenges in expanding access to cash transfers and other social protection services.

This brief summarizes the major considerations and available evidence around the issue of affordability, and highlights some available financing options that countries have used in introducing and scaling up social protection programmes.