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Congo: White Paper on social protection of children

1,200,000 Children live with less than 1 USD a day, this could be reduced by 10% for less than 4% of GDP, states the White Paper on Social protection of children in the Rep of Congo

Brazzaville, Congo, 20 April 2009-Fifty-four percent (54%) of Congolese children are affected by poverty, or one million two hundred thousand children who suffer not only monetary deprivation, but also lack of access to education , nutrition, health, water and sanitation and adequate housing. In terms of poverty, children are overrepresented among the poor. In addition, their dependency to adults increases their vulnerability.

Read the report (french)

These figures represent some of the findings of the White Paper on social protection of children in Congo (Brazzaville), launched today by the Government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other partners. The White Paper provides the framework of the choices and challenges for social protection of children.

It sums up the situation of poverty and presents the patterns of vulnerability and the most important risks to children in Congo Existing social protection systems are assessed, as well as the impact of alternative measures on the most vulnerable. Finally it offers clear guidelines and practical interventions, with the extent of their impact and cost.

The main objective of the White Paper is to rebuild the social pact for children and implement one of the five priorities of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP). This launch represents a crucial step in the mobilization of all stakeholders. Indeed, the workshop on social protection held last November made clear recommendations to the government for providing political guidance on the development of a roadmap for the implementation of social protection in the Congo.

These measures include, effective free primary education - and not just like the current policy of free tuition, a free health care package for pregnant women and children, - complementing free prevention and care for HIV/AIDS and Malaria - and cash transfers to children under 15.

The ceremony took place on 15 April 2009 at the auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the patronage of the Ministry of Planning, represented by Mr. Raphael Mokoko, General Director of Planning and Development, in the presence of Mr. Lamin Maneh, Coordinator of the UN system in Congo, Heads of Agencies of the United Nations system and representatives of the international community and civil society.

"In the long term, this investment in human capital, will result in lower costs to society and improve productivity, thus economic and social progress. With the launch of the White Paper on social protection, the government now has a clear framework for developing a strategic framework for social protection of children in Congo," Emphasized Mr. Maneh, UN Coordinator in Congo.

Mr. Raphael Moocow concluded that "The White Paper can serve as a tool to support the move from traditional solidarity mechanisms to a formal welfare system. But to achieve this, we must develop a comprehensive policy and strategic framework for social protection of children”.

For further information, please contact:
Hector Calderon: Communications Officer/UNICEF Republic of Congo
Tel.00 242 578 24 27, Email:



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