The first Call for Concept Notes of the Joint SDG Fund resulted in launching a portfolio of joint programmes in 36 countries, with the focus on Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) and social protection. The investment of $US 72 million is designed to accelerate the SDG by addressing poverty in all its forms and vulnerabilities throughout the life cycle.
Why social protection? It is a tested mechanism to reduce and prevent poverty and inequality, designed to reach those who have been left behind. Well-designed social protection systems are implemented through a mix of contributory schemes and tax-financed social assistance. Some examples include cash transfers, social insurance, health insurance and universal child benefits, all of which not only address poverty and inequity but also contribute to human capital development.
Even though social protection is a human right, 55% of the world’s population is not protected at all, and many more are only inadequately protected. Nearly two thirds of children worldwide are not shielded from the lifelong effects of poverty and discrimination. There is a growing consensus on the urgency of addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion and on social protection as a key vehicle for addressing those challenges in a sustainable manner.