Headline August 09, 2018/ '' 'SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEM' ''


'' BEAM THESE PROUD PAKISTANI STUDENTS UP  SCOTTY '' : A reasonable and  a real command from the TV series, STAR TREK

' How goes it Your Excellency - Mr. Prime Minister -  and better still and always -CAPTAIN? All set, are we?

FOR YEARS THE ETHIOPIAN government flinched at terms like ''social protection''.

NET BENEFIT : Safety nets, in one form or another, have proliferated across Africa in recent years. Spending on them in sub-Saharan  Africa, now amounts to about  1.5%  of GDP.

In Tanzania 10% of the population is covered by its  safety-net {at a cost of just 0.3 % of GDP }. Most schemes in Africa are focused on rural people and many are temporary, often implemented by donors in response to natural disasters or conflicts.

Few are designed to help households manage the private misfortunes - such as illness or the death of a family member - that can tip them into destitution.

They also do a poor job of reducing the chronic unemployment that has taken root in many African cities.

Ethiopia's programme is a step towards building a national security system that will, in time, replace a hotch-potch of small ones.

It builds on Ethiopia's flagship rural safety-net, which is the largest of its kind on the continent and covers some 10 million poor people in the countryside [out of a total population about 102 million ].

The government has committed $150 million to fund the new scheme and the World Bank has stumped up the remaining $300 million needed for the first five years.

Ethiopia hopes that within 10 years it will no longer need help financing the programme.

For years the Ethiopian government flinched at terms like ''social protection''.

Donors are hopeful that it now considers the safety-net a long-term policy rather than  ''a sticking plaster that won't be necessary once industrialisation takes off,''  says Tom Layers of Manchester University.

But, he notes, antipathy towards Western-style welfarism remains strong. The government flatly rejected the idea of no-strings cash handouts, which are popular among donors and development economists, partly because they are cheap to administer.

''People can't expect a free lunch,'' says Belynshe Regassa, the head of Mrs Zewide's local committee.

Ethiopia's rural scheme is widely regarded as a success.

It has reduced rural poverty and helped the poor buy food during a severe drought in 2016 that might have led to famine.

But towns and cities are a different challenge altogether. It can be hard to know which people are most in need.

Applicants must have lived in the district for at least six months to be eligible, so transient urban folks may slip through the safety net.

Mrs. Regassa says locals complained to her when they were not selected by the committee. Critics say locals complained to her when they were not selected by the committee. Critics say supporters of the ruling party are more likely to get picked.

Despite such gripes, Ethiopia's experience suggests  that even poor countries can start extending safety nets.

But if Ethiopia is to achieve its goal of weaning the scheme off donor support, it may have to make cuts to wasteful subsidies, which would be politically painful.

The biggest challenge lies in the fact that even the broadest safety-nets in Africa only cover a small portion of the poor.

Mrs Regassa, for example, is not eligible for help because she owns her own house. But as a single mother with four children she hopes the programme will one day include her, too.

With respectful and loving dedication to the Prime Minister to be, Captain Imran Khan, the great people of Pakistan, Grandparents, Parents, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of Pakistan, and then the world. and then-

Imran Khan/Europe, Global Chief of  Capital Markets and Financial Exercise.

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''''Gosh & Good ''''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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