Child poverty: A Role for Cash Transfers in West and Central Africa?

Child poverty: A Role for Cash Transfers in West and Central Africa?

UNICEF | February 1, 2009
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Based on the findings of a research report commissioned by UNICEF, this briefing paper discusses the role that cash transfers could play in reducing child poverty and vulnerability in West and Central Africa.

Cash transfers have become a powerful mechanism for the reduction of poverty and vulnerability in developing countries. Their benefits for children have been particularly important: improvements in nutrition, school attendance, use of health services and birth registration and reduced use of child labour. In turn, the improvements in child development have improved life-course capacities contributing to chronic poverty reduction over the long term.

However, there has been little experience of cash transfers in West and Central Africa, despite the fact that poverty rates are among the highest in the world. In many countries, more than half the population lives below the officially defined absolute poverty line and often a quarter of the population lives in extreme (food) poverty. 

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