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Blank, Lorraine R. & Handa, Sudhanshu (2008). Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Framework and Strategy for UNICEF. Nairobi, Kenya: UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office.


As we approach the end of the decade, more and more countries in Eastern & Southern Africa are demonstrating stable macroeconomic policy environments and consistent rates of economic growth. But this success is tempered by other challenges. In many cases growth has not reached the poorest, resulting in increased disparities. Integration into the global economy means that the region is more exposed to externally driven shocks, manifested most recently by rising food prices. And emergencies continue to hit the region, with 15 of the 20 countries in ESA suffering some form of emergency in 2007, mostly from natural causes such as floods, cyclones, and droughts. Finally, ESA is the epicenter of AIDS pandemic. Approximately 24 million children in ESA are orphans, 40 percent of them due to AIDS, and representing 80 percent of all such orphans in the entire world. The pandemic has weakened family support systems already stretched thin by extreme poverty, often leading to extreme coping strategies which result in irreversible losses in human capital of children and other vulnerable household members. In this context, it is clear that comprehensive social protection systems are needed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable, and to ensure that economic growth benefits all citizens, particularly the socially and economically excluded.


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Blank, Lorraine R.
Handa, Sudhanshu