Equity, governance and social policy
Every child deserves an equitable chance in life
- Available in:
The situation of children in Senegal has improved over the last decade, especially child survival. With an ambitious new national development plan, the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, in place since 2014, economic growth has surpassed 6 per cent, but the country still faces high unemployment, especially among youth, and persistent high poverty rates, estimated at 46.7 per cent in 2011.
Every second household with children lives in poverty, with one third of children experiencing both monetary and multidimensional deprivations in basic social services.
These challenges are compounded by population growth, estimated at 2.5 per cent annually. Children represent 48 per cent of the total population and one third of all children are under five years of age.
Poverty robs children of the things they need most for survival and development. As children grow, the consequences of poverty are compounded, taking an enormous toll on their well-being – and their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
The choices government makes about where and how to spend public resources are critical to breaking cycles of poverty. Social protection programmes have proven benefits: They reduce child poverty and improve access to good nutrition, health care and education.
The Government has made important advances in social protection. A second-generation Social Protection Strategy, approved in 2017, is expected to improve coverage for various groups, with the ultimate aim of a minimal social protection floor. Coverage has also increased, with the Government introducing a national common registry to better target social assistance and, since 2013, a national flagship cash transfer scheme, currently reaching 22 per cent (350,000) of all households, which aims to improve education, vaccination and birth registration.
While the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, now in its second phase, will continue its strong focus on social protection and human capital development, structural changes in the social sectors are needed, with adequate and sustainable financing, and more inclusive economic growth that enables sustained reduction of poverty and inequality and meets the strong demand for social services.
UNICEF aims to reduce child poverty and give all children an equitable chance in life. Together with partners, we help level the playing field for disadvantaged children.
UNICEF supports country’s efforts to assess both monetary and multidimensional child poverty – measures of poverty and deprivation that go beyond income – and to address them through policies, programmes and budgets.
UNICEF helps the country strengthen and expand social protection systems that support the well-being of all children, especially those most at risk of discrimination and exclusion. This includes supporting the development and expansion of national social protection systems like cash transfers, health insurance and education subsidies and strengthening social protection systems so that all families gain access to health care, education and social welfare.
UNICEF supports national and local governments to mobilize, allocate and improve the utilization of public financial resources to deliver more equitable and sustainable social services and contribute to better results for children.
UNICEF helps build the capacity of local governments to generate local data, plan and organize services, budget equitably and monitor the impact of interventions on children.
Our programmes are supporting the following reforms:
- The Reform of Administration, Good Governance and Finance, through the consolidation of the data collection system about children and their use in public policies for an efficient and transparent management of public affairs
- Social Protection Reform to increase public financial resources to social sectors, including the social protection of children to deliver more equitable and sustainable social services
- The Decentralization Reform, by supporting local authorities to promote accessibility to basic social services for children.