UNICEF study provides new insight to strengthen the social protection system for children
SKOPJE, 20 May 2013: A new UNICEF study draws attention to the need to examine the social protection system to improve targeting and address issues of inadequacy of cash transfers for children. The in-depth analysis highlights the need to introduce gradual targeted reforms that will have a positive impact on the poorest and most marginalized children.
“Ensuring the social protection system is as effective as possible in reaching the poorest children, and efficient in optimising the use of resources to help the most vulnerable children, is key to ensuring equity for children,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative.
A first of its kind in the country, the UNICEF commissioned study provides valuable insight into cash transfers with a particular focus on three types of benefits - child allowances, social financial assistance and parental allowance. It provides new evidence on the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of allowances and calls for introducing simpler eligibility criteria to increase uptake and improve targeting among children from the poorest families.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy has welcomed the study and has established a technical working group to review the findings and look into the practical implementation of the recommendations through legislative, administrative and procedural changes.
The study, conducted by Oxford Policy Management, under the direction of UNICEF, was commissioned to provide new knowledge on policies and practices to ensure the 1 in 3 children currently living below the relative poverty line have access to needed services and benefits.