Fiscal Space for Strengthened Social Protection in West and Central Africa

Public Policy and Financing

The report explores whether stronger child-focused social protection is affordable and sustainable in West and Central African countries. After discussing the concept of ‘fiscal space,’ the report provides the results of cost simulations for universal and targeted child benefits and social pensions in the five case study countries, and discusses the extent to which these countries have the potential fiscal space to afford one or more of these options. It concludes that universal child benefits and social pensions would be fiscally affordable in some low-population, oil rich countries of the Gulf of Guinea, but that only more modest, targeted schemes would be feasible in the low-income aid dependent countries.

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