Social Protection in Africa

Social Protection in Africa

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

The purpose of this book is to make accessible to a broad audience the ideas, principles and practicalities of establishing effective social protection in Africa. It focuses on the major shift in strategy for tackling hunger and vulnerability, from emergency responses mainly in the form of food transfers to predictable cash transfers to the chronically poorest social groups. The diverse case studies in this book provide a unique and timely exploration of the effective, and less effective, ways that social transfers are delivered to the chronically poor and vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chapter 12: Case Study 2. Food Subsidy Programme, Mozambique

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

Subjects: development studies, development studies, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, social policy in emerging countries


OVERVIEW The Food Subsidy Programme (in Portuguese, PSA – Programa de Subsidio de Alimentos) in Mozambique is a rare example in sub-Saharan Africa of a state-led social security programme with continuous funding over a long period. This case study is therefore a key one for informing the contemporary policy discussion about providing predictable funding for predictable needs, and scaling up cash transfer forms of social protection. The PSA began in 1990 during civil war conditions, but evolved to its current institutional form in 1997. The Programme provides a monthly cash transfer to people who are destitute and have no capacity to work, including older, disabled and chronically ill people (but not those living with HIV/AIDS and TB), and pregnant women who are malnourished (Taimo & Waterhouse, 2007a). The PSA is implemented by the National Institute of Social Action (INAS), a semi-autonomous agency of the Ministry of Women and Social Action (MMAS). It is funded by the Mozambique government, and its recent budgets were Mtn164.2 million (US$6.3 million) in 2006 and Mtn188.6 million (US$7.3 million) in 2007. The value of the transfer to beneficiaries varies from Mtn70 (US$2.7) per month to a maximum of Mtn140 (US$5.4) per month depending on the number of dependants in the household. The number of beneficiaries was 96 600 in 2006, and had risen to 101 800 in March 2007. At community level, INAS works through local volunteers, known as Permanentes, chosen by the community to act as its community agents. Permanentes...

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