In recent years, around 150 million people overcame extreme poverty thanks to social protection programmes.
Social protection exists when governments develop policies and programmes to address economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities to food insecurity and poverty. Through cash transfers, vouchers, insurances and in-kind contributions, social protection programmes enhance the income, status and capacities of poor and vulnerable people. Social protection improves people’s access to health care and other social services, enabling them to sustainably provide for themselves and their family members.
In the absence of social protection, poor households, which are already constrained by limited access to resources and services, are at constant risk of hunger and poverty, especially when faced with a crisis or shock of any nature.
Social protection is critical in such cases because, the economic or in-kind support it provides prevents people from hunger in the short term. Moreover, by stimulating production, social protection provides greater income stability and ability to manage risk, thus contributing to reducing poverty and food insecurity in the longer-term.
For this reason, FAO has stepped up its efforts to help governments and partners incorporate social protection into national development strategies and policies.
World Food Day is an occasion to focus the world’s attention on the crucial role played by social protection in eradicating hunger and poverty.