Agency Positions on Social Protection
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Social protection emerged as a significant strand of development policy in the 1990s, out of the ‘social safety nets’ that dominated government and agency responses to socioeconomic crises such as HIV and AIDS, structural adjustment programmes, political transitions in former socialist countries, and the Asian financial crisis. Poor people across the world have no insurance against such shocks, nor against natural disasters that threaten their lives and livelihoods, and they have no access to savings, unemployment benefits or pensions when they retire. Social protection therefore evolved as a mechanism for alleviating poverty and assisting people to survive lifecycle and livelihood shocks.