Social and Economic Policy
In Burkina Faso, UNICEF is working with the government to support the analysis and development of national policies that benefit poor children and women. To do this, it is necessary to understand what the main causes of poverty are and how policies are likely to impact on these factors.
Burkina Faso has one of the highest levels of poverty in the world. Almost half the country’s population lives below the poverty line. The country appears at 134th place out of 137 countries ranked in the Child Development Index. Although many social and economic indicators have improved in recent years, they remain below the average for low-income countries as a group.
Policy and budget analysis
The most powerful tool to reduce child poverty will be an effective poverty reduction strategy, backed by efficient and adequate resources. UNICEF seeks to understand how government policy can be better designed and funded to have a greater positive impact on reducing child poverty.
Understanding child poverty
Understanding child poverty, both its characteristics and causes, is crucial in tackling it. Poverty can disadvantage a child for life, causing irreversible damage to their learning, health, earnings and happiness as adults, thereby perpetrating the cycle of poverty through the generations. It is important to emphasize the multidimensional aspects of poverty and particularly to understand the linkages between income poverty and non-income poverty. While the figures show little change in income poverty in Burkina Faso in recent years, a number of non-income indicators, such as access to schooling, have gained ground.
Child sensitive social protection
Interest in social protection to households has been increasing in recent years as governments have begun to recognize the potential of such transfers, increasingly provided in cash, to promote and transform the living standards of poor households. As well as reducing current hardship, social protection should also seek to reduce children’s vulnerability to risk and address some of the main causes of their poverty.