Policy, Evidence and Social Protection
UNICEF believes every child deserves an improved policy environment and a strengthened social protection system to have his/her rights fulfilled and develop to his/her full potential
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Economic inequality and poverty are key drivers of vulnerability and multiple deprivations, restricting children and young people from realizing their basic rights in Sudan.
The 2021 extrapolatory analysis of the 2014 Household Budget and Poverty Survey conducted by UNICEF indicates that the abject child poverty rates increased from 12 per cent in 2014 to 46 per cent in 2018 and 85 per cent in 2020, extreme poverty rates from 31 per cent in 2014 to 71 per cent in 2018 and 95 per cent in 2020, and overall poverty rates from 43 per cent in 2014 to 80 per cent in 2018 and 97 per cent in 2020.
Social protection is recognized globally as an effective policy instrument in mitigating the impact of economic crises. Evidence on the returns on investment shows that the cost of a basic social protection package can be fully recovered after 12 years.
To respond to the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation, in 2021, UNICEF and partners launched the Mother and Child Cash Transfers Plus (MCCT+) for the first 1,000 Days of Life programme to better support vulnerable children and families affected by rising poverty and vulnerability caused by the health and socio-economic implications
of COVID-19, ongoing hazards such as flooding, drought, confl ct and displacement, as well as the effects of subsidies removal and high inflation.
The UNICEF Sudan social protection flagship programme is directly supporting 300,000 beneficiaries through provision of cash, information and care to women for the first 1000 days of their children - from conception to 2 years. The programme is proven and scalable to reduce maternal mortality, infant mortality and malnutrition, while empowering girls and women and promoting life-saving behaviors.
Initially rolled-out in the eastern states where children suffer from high prevalence of malnutrition, with nearly 50 per cent global malnutrition prevalence, the MCCT+ programme combines regular cash assistance to beneficiaries with a package of integrated services such as healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection. It seeks to tackle child and maternal mortality and malnutrition through improved infant and young child feeding.
The combination of cash transfers with essential primary healthcare services empowers pregnant women and mothers of young children. It provides them with the financial resources and the knowledge to ensure their access to services and purchasing power for products their children need at a critical stage of their development. Primary healthcare centres serve as the platform and entry point for the beneficiaries to receive their cash and the integrated services such as quality prenatal and postnatal care, training in mother support groups as well as medical and nutritional supplies.
The MCCT+ programme also empowers women and adolescent girls to take charge of their own health care and make choices that improve their children’s health and well-being.