Social protection programs for Africa's drylands
Social Protection Programs for Africa’s Drylands explores the role of social protection in promoting the well-being and prosperity of people living in dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Based on a review of recent experience, it argues that social protection policies and programs have an important role in promoting the resilience of the people residing in these areas. Social protection programs, when well designed and carefully implemented at scale, can reduce vulnerability to droughts and other shocks and promote coping capacity. If present trends continue, by 2030 dryland regions of East and West Africa will be home to an estimated 429 million people, up to 24 percent of whom will be living in chronic poverty. Many others will depend on livelihood strategies that are sensitive to the shocks that will hit the region with increasing frequency and severity, making them vulnerable to falling into transient poverty. Social protection programs will be needed in the drylands to provide support to those unable to meet their basic needs. Some of these people will require long-term support, while others will require periodic short-term support because of income losses due to shocks (for example, crop failure following a drought) or as a result of lifecycle changes (for example, loss of a breadwinner).