Rural workers and rural populations

Radio weather

Most people living in rural areas in the Global South do not have access to social protection. People in rural areas are disproportionately exposed to income insecurity, as employment is typically casual, seasonal and low paid. With few resources, low income, and high risk exposure, rural populations are particularly vulnerable to severe financial hardship. Approximately 150 million people experience financial catastrophe each year, and 100 million are end up in poverty from paying for health services. Women in rural areas are often particularly vulnerable, owing to limited access to land, productive resources and employment, as well as patriarchal social and cultural norms.
Ensuring access to social protection, including at least a basic level of income security and access to services, especially health care, ensures that people can realize their right to social security, and is also a key factor for social and economic development. Social protection —  especially in education and health— is an investment in human capital,  which in the long term improves individuals’ employability and productivity. Cash and in-kind transfers to financially insecure households can help encourage parents to keep their children in school, reducing child labour.
Employment guarantee schemes (such as MGNREGA in India) can also increase wages and provide at least a minimum level of income security. Cash transfer programmes can play a particularly important role for rural populations, as they are an important channel for regular, if modest, cash income. This contributes not only to income security, but also to local economic development. Contributory schemes that are adapted to workers’ specific needs, such as rural pension schemes, can also play an important role in protecting these populations. Nationally defined social protection floors, in line with Recommendation No. 202, are particularly important for rural populations. Ensuring the availability, accessibility and acceptability of health care and other social services, including investments in infrastructure and qualified staff, is key to ensuring rural people’s access to these services.

 

 Photo credit: “Radio weather bulletin” by Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr)

 

 

Expert Commentaries

The Right to Employment and Social Protection in Rural Settings: The example of the Indian MGNREGA

The right to social security and to an adequate standard of living is centrally codified in numerous international human rights instruments and international social security standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 22 and 25), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Articles 9 and 11), as well as in the […]

Resources

ILO Resource Package on “Extending Social Security to Workers in the Informal Economy”

The ILO policy resource package “Extending social security to workers in the informal economy: Lessons from international experience” serves as a reference for policy makers, workers’ and employers’ organizations and other stakeholders engaged in the development of social protection strategies, or the planning, design, implementation and monitoring of systems and schemes. This practical tool can help in […]

‘Leaving no one behind’ through enabling climate-resilient economic development in dryland regions

‘Leave no one behind’ is a principle central to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This policy briefing, based on five years’ research by the PRISE project, puts forward the view that governments, development partners and investors must prioritise investments to tackle poverty and climate vulnerability in dryland areas to ensure that no one […]

FAO’s Role in Social Protection: Innovation to Achieve Zero Hunger, Reduce Poverty and Build Resilient Communities

The event gathered representatives of FAO partners in social protection to discuss important achievements made thus far – and the way forward – to continue to increase rural prosperity, food security and resilience through the scale-up of social protection systems. Link to video

Social Protection after the Arab Spring

When countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) achieved independence, formal social protection schemes established by former colonial powers were, to varying degrees, assimilated or mimicked by the State, particularly pension systems for government and formal-sector workers. These systems, however, have proven to be highly subsidized and regressive in terms of income distribution […]

Targeting Farmers in Institutional Procurement Programmes: case study of the PAA Africa Programme in Senegal

In general terms, this case study aims to analyse the system used by the PAA Africa programme in Senegal to target family farms producing rice in the Kédougou region. More specifically, it aims to highlight the way the targeting process influenced the results and constraints observed during the programme’s pilot phase. It also aims to […]

Fostering Food Purchase Programmes in Widespread Poverty Contexts: targeting smallholders within the PAA Africa Programme in Niger

The overall objective of this case study is to present the approach adopted by the PAA Africa programme in the Nigerien context, the programmatic decisions taken to adapt the local purchases to the local context, and the associated challenges Its specific objective is to provide a detailed description of the experience developed in Niger as […]

FAO Social Protection Framework

FAO Social Protection Framework presents the Organization’s vision and approach to social protection. FAO recognizes the critical role social protection plays in furthering and accelerating progress around food security and nutrition, agriculture development, rural poverty and resilience building. Link to French version Link to Spanish version

Practical Options for the Extension of Social Protection Coverage in Zambia: small scale farmers

The study explores the possible strategies to expand social protection to small scale farmers as well as the requirements for SHI scheme design adjustments to fit the income patterns and employment arrangements which prevail in the sector. The report also offers a case study on a possible linkage between the future SHI scheme and a […]

Extending Social Protection to the Rural Economy: Policy guidance notes on decent work in the rural economy

Social protection is now recognized as an integral part of the development and anti-poverty agenda in many countries. Among the highest priorities are policies and initiatives aimed at extending social protection to those who are not covered by existing systems – mainly workers in the informal economy and the rural economy. Given that poverty and […]

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!