Thailand takes another leap towards a universal Child Support Grant
Statement attributable to Thomas Davin, UNICEF Representative for Thailand
BANGKOK, 7 July 2020 – “UNICEF welcomes the recent agreement in principle of the National Child and Youth Committee (NCYC) to expand the Child Support Grant for all children under 6 years old. The trailblazing decision demonstrates the profound commitment of the Royal Thai Government to providing the best possible start in life for every child and ensuring that none are left out during the most important years of child development.
UNICEF commends the Royal Thai Government for its progressive expansion of the Child Support Grant scheme within a short time frame. First introduced in April 2015 and rolled out within six months, the 400-baht monthly subsidy for children under 1 from poor and near-poor families was subsequently increased to 600-baht to also cover eligible children under 3 then under 6 in 2016 and 2019, respectively. The recent decision to make the scheme universal - if endorsed by Cabinet - will further contribute to reducing deprivation by improving all children’s overall wellbeing, health, education, food security, future productivity and ability to contribute to their societies and economies when they reach adulthood.
The initiative is both crucial and timely for reducing poverty across the entire population. The unprecedented economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push many families into destitution, many of whom are not receiving the Child Support Grant because they were not considered poor at the time of registration. Universalizing the scheme will offer a lifeline to these vulnerable families left without any support, protecting them from deepening levels of poverty.
An investment in the earliest years of the youngest generation is an investment in human capital that will carry the most weight for their communities and society as a whole. UNICEF hopes that the cabinet will soon approve the NCYC decision and adopt a universal approach for all children under 6 to ensure that no child slips through the cracks. Ready to support the Royal Thai government and coalitions, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that every child receives all the support they need to build a lifelong foundation for learning and development during the most important years of their life.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.