Social protection

© GIZ/Markus Kirchgessner

Social protection is a prerequisite for poverty alleviation and for inclusive and sustainable development.

Developing and emerging countries are increasingly investing in social protection. These investments aim to combat hunger and poverty and to reduce social inequality. Furthermore, social protection contributes to an inclusive economic development.

The World Bank estimates that around 767 million people worldwide live below the poverty line. Many of them have no access to adequate social protection. They have no protection whatsoever against loss of income due to illness, age, disability or bad harvests. But even for many of those above the poverty line – in the informal economy, for example – a lack of social protection systems means that their development opportunities are limited due to the fact that they have to keep savings readily available and can only make limited investments to secure their livelihoods.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda explicitly mentions social protection in five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Social protection measures further fall in line with the Agenda’s principle of ‘leave no one behind’.

There is an international agreement that people must have a certain minimum income guarantee to live in order to participate in economic and social development. Basic social protection programmes explicitly seek to provide this minimum level of income for the poor. They especially have the goal to prevent poverty automatically being passed on from one generation to the next.

To break the vicious circle, GIZ works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to expand social protection systems in its partner countries.

  • It promotes the (further) development of solidarity-based systems for financing, good health care and the expansion of basic social protection systems and public employment programmes.
  • It supports partner countries’ institutions in developing efficient procedures for managing and providing services.
  • It supports training measures for members of staff in partner institutions at all system levels – from administrators to social workers.
  • It promotes the use of digital technologies – from the identification of target groups for programmes to the payment of transfers.
  • It works to ensure that the various programmes are brought together to form a coherent, multi-disciplinary social policy for all citizens.