Equity for Children co-organized a workshop on Child Poverty and Social Protection in Western and Central Africa on May 23-25 in Abuja, Nigeria, in partnership with UNICEF WCARO (Western and Central Africa Regional Office), CROP, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
According to a path-breaking study commissioned by UNICEF in 2003, child poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (in particular in Western and Central Africa) was extremely high. Fortunately, the situation has since improved in many countries. This is in part due to the expansion of social protection.
However, given the rate of population growth, the decline is too low to make a dent in the total number of children living in poverty, contrary to the trend of adult poverty. It also seems that the reduction in child poverty has occurred in areas and among groups that are relatively close to those who are better off. Thus, inequalities, social exclusion, and the depth of poverty might have increased. Moreover, this takes place in a context where social protection is still limited and fragmented in most countries.
This workshop examined how to further understand the trends of child poverty, its distribution, and how social protection has contributed, or not, to its decline in Western and Central Africa during the last 10-15 years. It also explored the types and limitations of social protection in the region, as well as related accomplishments and impacts.
Read the compendium of papers presented at the event here.