Social and Economic Policy

UNICEF's response to the crisis

In the 1980s, UNICEF's work on Adjustment with a Human Face was a milestone that helped ensure that children and their families were not treated as collateral damage, but as recipients of necessary and adequate development investments. The same arguments remain valid in current times: recovery for all is an urgent priority.

In many parts of the developing world, children and poor households are being hard hit by the cumulative effects of the continued high food prices, economic slowdown and fiscal adjustments. As households cope by compromising essential expenditures, children’s rights to education, health, and protection have come under increasing threat. 

Many governments are facing increased social demands, but decreasing fiscal resources to address them.  Despite signs of recovery in some parts of the world, economic recovery will not be soon or strong enough to protect many children and the poor.  UNICEF is working within countries to provide ongoing technical assistance to partner with governments in education, health, social protection and socio-economic policies.  Crucial actions include:

  • Urgently scaling-up quick-impact social protection initiatives such as food security programmes,  cash transfers to households, guaranteed work schemes and school feeding.
  • Maintaining, and where possible increasing, social expenditures to preserve gains in the realization children’s and women’s rights and long-term national development achievements.
  • Promoting economic recovery to raise household living standards such as increased investments in agriculture and food security and employment-generating industry and enterprises, with a view toward strengthening households’ resilience to shocks.
    Identifying fiscal space.
  • Presenting a set of alternative policy options for social and economic recovery that can be used in a national dialogue on crisis responses and post-crisis policy adjustments.








UNICEF Launches E-Discussion on Recovery with a Human Face

UNICEF launched an open e-discussion on Recovery with a Human Face. The goal is to discuss how to best promote Recovery with a Human Face at national, regional and global levels. If you would like to make a difference by improving social and economic policy sensitive to children's rights and well-being, join by writing to join-recovery-human-face@groups.dev-nets.org. Once you become a member, send your experiences and inputs with others by sending an email to recovery-human-face@groups.dev-nets.org.