Reducing vulnerability to poverty and deprivation
In Myanmar, many children are at risk of harm and vulnerability due to poverty, natural disasters, conflicts, and marginalization due to disability.
The Myanmar National Social Protection Strategic Plan was endorsed at the end of 2014, with an aim to promote human and socio-economic development, strengthen resilience to cope with disasters, enable productive investments and improve social cohesion. Rooted in Myanmar’s context, the plan endorses the principles of a life-cycle based approach, universality and integrated national systems.
Taking into account the country’s vulnerability profile, the following eight ‘flagship’ programmes were planned to address vulnerabilities along the life cycle, most of which will directly contribute to social protection for children:
- Maternal and Child Cash Transfer (MCCT)
- Child Allowance
- Disability Allowance
- School Feeding
- Public Employment, Skills Development and Workplace Safety
- Social Pension
- Older People Self-help Groups
- Integrated Social Protection System
To ensure that implementation is technically and financially feasible, the flagship programmes are expected to be progressively rolled out.
However, implementation is still at an early stage, with the Maternal and Child Cash Transfer and social pensions initiatives currently seeing initial rollouts at scale.
UNICEF’s lead role in a range of national coordination platforms in the social sector means that we play a key part in efforts to achieve child rights in Myanmar.
Advocacy for social protection for children forms a central part of all our work and programmes, ranging from health and education to sanitation, child protection and children in emergency situations.
In 2017, UNICEF supported the Government and partners to take an important step in rolling out the Maternal and Child Cash Transfer programme in Chin State and Rakhine State, with the aim to contribute to improved health and nutritional status for mothers and children during the first critical 1,000 days of life. UNICEF is a lead technical partner on the programme and has been providing full technical and capacity support in its design as well as its monitoring and evaluation, including through use of a Management Information System.
100,000 pregnant women and mothers with children under two years of age have benefited from a universal Maternal Child Cash Transfer programme in Chin State, Rakhine State and the Naga Self-Administered Zone in 2018.
With UNICEF’s technical support, Myanmar took a vital step to improve the situation of children when it approved the first National Social Protection Strategic Plan. We continue to work with the Government to ensure that progress is made on funding and capacity to implement key parts of the plan. This includes working to ensure that implementation aligns with the principles of universality and that systems-building enables scaled-up and sustainable social protection coverage for all children.