Child Poverty and Social Protection
Providing support to enact socially inclusive policies for children
Children in Georgia face a higher risk of poverty than any other population group. Georgia still lacks a holistic, child-sensitive social protection system that helps families cope with shocks and strengthen their resilience. Gaps remain in child-centered legislation/policies, monetary benefits and social services. Many vulnerable families and children are still left behind, especially children with disabilities, children victims of violence, children of national minorities and children from poor families.
A high level of vulnerability is caused by poverty dynamics that are characterized by a very high movement in and out of poverty, i.e. any sudden shock, such as unemployment, illness or death in the family, may push a family into poverty. Young parents in their 20s-30s, who face high unemployment rates and limited state support, bring up the vast majority of children. Furthermore, children and their families face critical gaps in terms of access and coverage of child-friendly social services and family support services, especially in rural areas.
We work with the Government to continuously improve the Targeted Social Assistance programme to reduce the number of children living in extreme poverty.
The revised Targeted Social Assistance programme since 2017 significantly improved identification of poor families with children. The new child benefit also contributes to the reduction of child poverty.
We support the development and monitoring of legislation and policiesto make the social protection system child-friendly. We assist the Government to understand the patterns and drivers of exclusion, to influence policy discourse and public finance processes, to assist in design/adaptation, piloting and/or scale up ofchild-sensitive cash transfers, including child benefits to further reduce poverty and to ensure that the most disadvantaged families with childrencan cope with economic shocks and enjoy a safe, caring and supportive environment. We also work to establishlinkages between child care and social protection systemsbuilding on recent successes and lessons learned of the child care and targeted social assistance reforms.