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The Role of Social Protection in Protracted Crises. Enhancing the Resilience of the Most Vulnerable. Guidance Note

This note focuses on the topic of social protection in protracted crises, presenting some possible approaches and its contribution to food security and nutrition, illustrated by case studies from FAO interventions in such contexts. The humanitarian system is currently at a critical turning point. No longer an exception, crises have become the norm across regions and are characterized by increasing complexity and recurrence. Moreover, despite the increase in the volume of humanitarian funding, there continue to be important shortfalls in meeting humanitarian appeals.

The World Humanitarian Summit highlighted the urgent need to change the approach to addressing increasing humanitarian needs and to work towards innovative solutions. The heightened political momentum and visibility around social protection in development agendas, as well as the recognition of the role of cash-based interventions in humanitarian and fragile contexts have provided a critical opportunity to explore the extent to which national social protection systems are able to contribute to such a change in approach. Flexible, shock-responsive and risk-informed social protection systems can (i) enhance coherence between humanitarian action and development programming; (ii) progressively absorb humanitarian caseloads, particularly in protracted contexts; and (iii) contribute to strengthening the capacity of households and communities to effectively prevent, withstand and counteract vulnerability and risks.