1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)

Literature Review: Social Protection of the Rural Population (Draft)



Poverty in developing countries is predominantly a rural phenomenon. The 2001 IFAD Rural Poverty Report states that of the 1.2 billion human beings who live in extreme poverty about three quarters live in rural areas. It is also estimated that for the next two decades, the majority of the population living in developing countries will continue to be rural. Consequently, achieving the targets of poverty reduction set by the international community for the year 2015 will require particular emphasis on rural areas. Despite their importance, rural people in developing countries still tend to be neglected in the fight against poverty.

One important emerging component of development policy to address poverty in developing countries is social protection. However, social protection of the rural population in developing countries as a tool for poverty reduction is still scarce.

This paper aims to overview some of the existing literature on social protection mechanisms for the rural poor in the field of old-age protection and health protection as well as their possible effects on poverty reduction. It examines shortcomings and difficulties in the provision of social protection mechanisms for the rural poor as well as possible ways of how to overcome some of these obstacles.

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