Social inclusion

Despite the country’s positive economic development dynamics, poverty and inequality in the population’s well-being level persists

Ребенок за чертой бедности
UNICEF/2014/Giacomo Pirozzi

Challenges

Over the past years the economy of Kazakhstan has demonstrated a steady growth ensured by the extractive industry, which contributed to an increase in government expenditures in health care, education and social protection in absolute terms. 

However, a GDP share allocated to social development (9.7% in 2014) is more than twofold lower than the similar indicator (21.6% in 2014) in the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2015, despite the national budget reduction by 10%, the state's obligations under social programs were preserved. 

Poverty is especially urgent and sensitive because more than 90% of poor families are multi-child families, and children make up more than 40% of all Kazakhstanis living below the poverty line. Poverty affects every aspect of child’s life: malnutrition, lack of potable water and adequate sanitation, health status, and longevity. Poverty has an equally strong impact on both physical condition of children and their mental, emotional and spiritual development, and ultimately on their personal fulfilment ability in adulthood and escaping the vicious circle of poverty.

Solution

UNICEF together with the Government, is working to improve the targeting and effectiveness of social assistance programs so that families with children in need receive the necessary social support. 

UNICEF together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, conducted a research to study the barriers that poor and socially vulnerable families face when accessing social assistance and special social services. 

According to the UNICEF study in Kazakhstan, there are still categories of children coming from socially vulnerable families who do not have access to social benefits and special social services. Among the factors that impede access to social support are low awareness of government support measures and social worker’s role, restrictive administrative rules, and negative attitudes towards children with disabilities. Based on the research results, further recommendations will be developed to ensure wider service coverage