Cash Transfers: A Lifeline for Children and Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021

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January 2021

This working paper makes the case for quickly expanding cash transfer programs across Sub-Saharan Africa to protect children and support economic recovery in 2021. It does so by: (i) describing the economic, poverty and child well-being situation across the region at the end of 2020; (ii) summarizing the evidence of the benefits of cash transfers; (iii) reviewing the state of cash-based programs in SSA before the pandemic and in the immediate response period; (iv) simulating the costs and economic returns of providing cash transfers to all households with children under five; and (v) discussing domestic and external opportunities to fund the expansion. The analyses and recommendations draw on more than 25 global databases, projection and monitoring exercises.

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