For every child, a fair chance in life
The incidence of poverty is extremely high in Madagascar, with an estimated 22 million people living below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day. Those figures are even expected to increase due to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. More than four out of five children (82.9%) in Madagascar suffer from income poverty and more than two out of three children (67.6%) are multidimensionally poor; but poverty is not systematically monitored and tackled. In addition, national social protection programmes cover about 2.5 per cent of the population, 2.4 per cent of households, and 3.1 per cent of children.
The vision of the social policy component of UNICEF programme is to help reduce progressively monetary and multidimensional child poverty and to improve children's rights through inclusive, child-sensitive and gender transformative social policies. To achieve this, adequate use of available data, public resources and strengthening the national social protection system will be essential to ensure large-scale results that are sustainable and contribute to accelerating progress towards the SDG and the 2030 Agenda.
Programme activities focus on responses to the poverty and vulnerability of children, adolescents and women requiring an intersectoral response along three axes: (i) improved data and monitoring and evaluation systems as well as regular analysis to strengthen knowledge on the situation of children, adolescents and women, (ii) child-and gender-sensitive planning and budgeting - and, in parallel, the economic component of social inclusion - (iii) inclusive, integrated and crisis-responsive social protection, with sensitivity to children, gender and disabled people. All these activities are accompanied by regular advocacy and dialogue with the various stakeholders.
Data has more potential than ever to shape the lives and conditions of children. By strengthening government capacity to generate, analyse and use data and information through the establishment of improved monitoring and evaluation systems on the rights of children, adolescents and women, UNICEF aims to better inform public policy, monitoring and evaluation of development indicators.
Child-and gender-sensitive planning and budgeting
Public expenditures on children is a wise investment. When governments invest in children, health outcomes improve, incomes rise, economies develop and societies become more cohesive.
UNICEF therefore aims to strengthen the government's capacity to successfully develop and implement inclusive, well-founded, child- and gender-sensitive socio-economic policies, plans and budgets.
Inclusive social protection
Social protection covers all policies and programmes necessary to reduce the consequences of poverty and exclusion throughout the lifetime. In Madagascar, UNICEF aims to strengthen the national social protection strategy to make it more sensitive to children, more respectful of gender equality and more inclusive.
UNICEF also co-leads the Social Protection Working Group and the Cash Working Group with the government to strengthen the coordination of the national social protection policy and strategy as well as shock and climate change responsive social protection programmes.