Examining the impact of the global recession on children
12 August 2011- Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, today unveiled two studies which highlight the impact that the global economic recession had on children and families living in poverty.
The studies are entitled: The Impact of the International Financial Crisis on Child Poverty in South Africa and Vulnerability of Children and Poor Families to the Economic Recession of 2008 – 2009. They were conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) in collaboration with the Department of Social Development.
The studies used quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the depth and breadth of the impact of the crisis. Overall, the studies show that Government initiated policies and programmes, which existed prior to the crisis, reduced the negative effects of the crisis on child poverty.
The Child Support Grant (CSG) was found to play a very important role in helping families to mitigate the effects of the economic recession:
However, in households suffering from job loss due to the recession and not receiving state support children’s education was particularly negatively affected. These households were more likely to remove children from school, transfer children to a cheaper school or lack transport money for the children to go to school than similar households receiving state support.
The studies make relevant recommendations on how government policies and programmes can be strengthened to further protect poor and vulnerable children and their families. This includes the convergence and better coordination of the various grants, programmes and services that are available.
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