Bangladesh has the highest number of social protection schemes in the world

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Bangladesh has the highest number of social protection schemes in the world. There are 145 social protection schemes which are thought to be highest in number in the world.

The Government of Bangladesh is strongly committed to reducing poverty, improving human development and reducing inequality. This commitment is reflected in Vision 2021, the Perspective Plan 2010-2021 and in the Sixth Five Year Plan FY11-FY15. The Government seeks to build on past progress with poverty reduction and further deepen this progress by both addressing the root causes of poverty as well as by lowering the impact of risks faced by the poor and vulnerable population.

The Government appreciates that notwithstanding the past impressive progress with poverty reduction, there is a substantial population that remains exposed to poverty owing to various vulnerabilities. This includes the population that remains under the poverty line and those that are just above the poverty line but could easily fall below the poverty line because of these vulnerabilities. Evidence shows that the poor and vulnerable group cannot cope with all the downside risks and shocks with their own resources.

Current safety net programmes reflect the Government’s response to support the poor and the vulnerable population manage those risks. Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES) shows that the coverage of these programmes for the poor and vulnerable households has increased and they have helped lower poverty.  But data also suggest that a large proportion of the poor and vulnerable households do not have any access to these programmes.  The average benefit of safety net programmes is low and in many cases falling in real terms. There is considerable leakage of allocated funds and a significant percentage of household beneficiaries are non-poor.  Consequently, the impact on poverty reduction from the amount of money spent in these programmes is much less than is possible with a better social protection system.

In recognition of these concerns, the Government of Bangladesh has embarked upon the formulation of a comprehensive National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) that seeks to streamline and strengthen the existing safety net programmes with a view to achieving better results from money spent, and to broaden the scope of social protection from the more narrow safety net concept to include employment policies and social insurance to address the emerging needs of a middle income Bangladesh in 2021 and ahead.  By broadening the scope and coverage and by improving

By broadening the scope and coverage and by improving programme design the NSPS will help lower income inequality and contribute to higher growth by strengthening human development. The NSPS draws on the past experience with social protection programmes in Bangladesh and good practice international experience. To facilitate the preparation of the NSPS ten background papers, prepared by a team of international and local experts, were commissioned on the various issues relating to the NSPS.

The social protection schemes of Bangladesh are as follows.

(A.1) Cash Transfer (Allowances) Programmes & Other Activities

(A.1.1) Social Protection
  1. Old Age Allowance
  2. Allowances for the Widow, Deserted and Destitute Women
  3. Allowances for the Financially Insolvent Disabled
  4. Maternity Allowance Programme for the Poor
  5. Allowances for Urban Low-income Lactating Mothers
  6. Honorarium for Freedom
  7. Honorarium & Medical Allowances for Injured Freedom Fighters
  8. Assistance for Cancer, Kidney and Liver Cirrhosis Patients
  9. Grants for Residents in Government Orphanages and Other Institutions
  10. Capitation Grants for Orphan Students in Non-gov. Orphanages
  11. General Relief Activities
  12. Block Allocation for Disaster Management
  13. Non-Bengali Rehabilitation
  14. Allowances for Distressed Cultural Personalities/ Activists
  15. Pension for Retired Government Employees and their Families
  16. Ration for Shaheed Family and Injured Freedom Fighters
  17. Programme for Livelihood Improvement of tea garden laborers
(A.1.2) Social Empowerment
  1. Stipend for Disabled Students
  2. Grants for the Schools for the Disabled
(A.2) Cash Transfer (Special) Programme
  1. Housing Support
  2. National Legal Aid
  3. Agriculture Rehabilitation

(B) Food Security Programmes: Social Protection

  1. Open Market Sales (OMS)
  2. Vulnerable Group Development (VGD)
  3. Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF)
  4. Test Relief (TR) Food
  5. Gratuitous Relief (GR)
  6. Food Assistance in CTG-Hill Tracts Area
  7. Food For Work (FFW)
  8. Work For Money (WFM)
  9. Test Relief (TR) Cash
  10. Employment Generation Programme for the Poor
(C.1) Micro-Credit Programmes: Social Empowerment
  1. Microcredit for Women Self-employment
  2. Fund for Micro-Credit through PKSF
  3. Social Development Foundation
(C.2) Miscellaneous Funds: Social Empowerment
  1. Fund for the Welfare of Burnt and Disabled
  2. Trust for the protection of the persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities
  3. Welfare Trust for Physical disabilities
  4. Fund for Assistance to the Small Farmar and Poultry Farms
  5. Swanirvar Training Programme
  6. Joyeeta Foundation
  7. Shamaj Kallyan Parishad
(C.3) Miscellaneous Funds: Social Protection
  1. Fund for Climate Change
  2. Block Allocation for Various Programme
  3. National Service
  4. Women’s Skill Based Training For Livelihood
  5. Child Development Center
  6. Street Children Rehabilitation Programme
  7. Service and Assistance Center for Disabled
  8. Rehabilitation and Creation of Alternative Employment for Beggers Profession
  9. Universal Pension Insurance Scheme
  10. Programme for Improving the Livelihood of Harijan, Dalit, Bade common unity
  11. Programme for Improving the Livelihood of Trans Gender (Hijra)

(D) Development Sector Programmes: Social Empowerment

(D.1) Running Development Projects
  1. Lump Provision for Development of Special Areas (Except Hill Tracts)
  2. Ashroyan-2 Project
  3. Primary School Stipend
  4. School Feeding Programmes
  5. Reaching Out of School
  6. Secondary Education Sector Investment Program
  7. Secondary Education Stipend
  8. Stipend for Female students at Bachelor Level
  9. Higher Secondary Stipend
  10. Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement
  11. Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health
  12. Essential Services Delivery
  13. Community-Based Health Care
  14. National Nutrition Services
  15. Maternal, Child, Reproductive and Adolescent Health
  16. Clinical Contraception Services Delivery
  17. Family Planning Field Services Delivery
  18. T.B., Leprosy, Communicable Non-communicable Disease
  19. Promotion of Services & Opportunity to the Disabled Person in Bangladesh
  20. Child Sensitive Social Protection in Bangladesh
  21. Construction of Hostel for Govt. Orphanage
  22. Services for Children at Risk
  23. Establishment of Hostel for the Visually Impaired Children (37 Unit)
  24. Enabling Environment for Child Right
  25. Early Learning for Child Development
  26. Urban Based Marginal Women Development
  27. Day Care Program for Lower and Middle Income Working Women
  28. Northern Area Reduction of Poverty
  29. Pro-Poor Slum Integration
  30. Employment Opportunities for Unemployed Youth in 7 Northern District
  31. Disaster and Climate Resilient
  32. Rural Infrastructure Development
  33. Urban Primary Health Care
  34. Urban Public Environmental Health Care
  35. Rehabilitation of Aila Affected Infrastructure
  36. Haor Infrastructure and livelihood Development
  37. Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Improvement
  38. Rural Employment and Road Maintenance Program
  39. Agriculture Infrastructure Improvement
  40. Conservancy Workers Colony
  41. Poverty Reduction through Urban Partnership
  42. Fishermen ID Card and Fisheries Project
  43. Participatory Small-Scale Water Resource Development
  44. Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration
  45. Expansion of Polli Daridro Bimochon Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and Self Employment
  46. Bangladesh Rural Water Supply and Sanitation
  47. Rural Water Supply
  48. Char Livelihood Program
  49. One House One Farm
  50. Economic Empowerment of the Poorest in Bangladesh
  51. Integrated Rural Employment Support Project for the Poor Women
  52. Comprehensive Village Development Programme
  53. Rural Livelihood (2nd Phase)
  54. Mujibnagar Integrated Agricultural Development
  55. Initiative for Development, Empowerment, Awareness & Livelihood, Kurigram
  56. Integrated Support to Poverty and Inequality Reduction through Enterprise Development
  57. Rural Development of Greater Comilla
  58. Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration
  59. Integrated Fisheries & Livestock Development in Flood Controlled Areas & Water Bodies
  60. Regional Duck Breeding and Hatchery
  61. Poverty Reduction & Livelihood Security for the People of Economically Backward Area
  62. Bangladesh Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation
  63. Char Development and Settlement
  64. “Gucchagram” (Climate Victims Rehabilitation)
  65. Food Security through enhanced Agricultural Production, Income, Value Addition and Marketing in Bangladesh
  66. Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme
  67. Second Chittagong Hill Tracts Rural Development
  68. Construction of Residence for Landless & poor Freedom Fighters
  69. Establishment of Autistic Academy in Bangladesh
  70. Skills for Employment Investment Program
  71. Generation Breakthrough
  72. Institute of Pediatric Neuro Disorder
  73. Heath Economic Financing
  74. Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development
  75. Improving Working Condition in the Ready Made Garments Sector
  76. Income Support Program for the Poorest
  77. Skills for Employment and Productivity
  78. Multi-purpose Disaster Shetler Construction
  79. Rural Settlement Construction for improvement of Rural Livelihood
  80. Employment of Ultra Poor for Northern Areas
  81. Poverty Reduction Through Inclusive and Sustainable Markets
  82. Adaptation to Climate Change and Rehabilitation of Livelihood
(D.2) New Development Projects
  1. Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme
  2. Strengthening Public Financial Management for Social Protection
  3. Skill and Employment Programme in Bangladesh
  4. Increase Productivity and Opportunity for Empowerment For Women (SWAPNO)
  5. Support to the Urban Health and Nutrition to Bangladesh
  6. Urban Resilience Project: (DNCC & DDM)
  7. Skill and Training Enhancement

The Finance Division (FD) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has undertaken the Strengthening Public Financial Management for Social Protection (SPFMSP) Project, with the assistance of UK DFID and Australian DFAT, to follow through on the Value for Money (VfM) commitment.

The SPFMSP Project also is linked to the DFID-funded Strengthening Government Social Protection Systems for the Poor (SGSP) Programme which is aimed at supporting the Government to establish policies, budgets and plans for a more effective and efficient social protection system. Other parts of SGSP are being delivered by four implementing partners: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank (WB) and the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).

The major objective of the SPFMSP Project is to enhance the capacity of the FD and six major social protection (SP) expenditure managing Line Ministries (LMs) to draw evidenced based budgets that respond to VfM, improve targeting, prevent leakages, avoid duplication, bring efficiency in delivery systems and establish an efficient SP expenditure monitoring system.

The six LMs associated with the FD in the implementation of the Project are:

  1. Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW),
  2. Ministry of Children and Women Affairs (MoWCA),
  3. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW),
  4. Ministry of Education (MoE),
  5. Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) and
  6. Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR)

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