Overview of Non-contributory Social Protection Programmes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region Through a Child and Equity Lens
Through the definition of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries have acknowledged the importance of social protection for poverty reduction. Namely, target 1.3 of SDG 1, “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”, calls for the implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all to achieve substantial coverage of poor and vulnerable populations, including children, by 2030. By including child-specific indicators and targets, SDG 1 urges countries to place children at the centre of poverty reduction efforts and reinforces the need to assess the child-sensitivity of policies, incentivising countries to produce child-disaggregated and child-specific data on both poverty and social protection coverage.
This study provides a closer look at child-sensitive non-contributory social protection in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where child poverty remains a critical concern. A recent study in 11 Arab countries has shown that an estimated one in four children suffers from acute multidimensional poverty, meaning that they are deprived of their basic rights in two or more of the following dimensions: decent housing, health care, safe water, sanitation, nutrition, basic education and information.