The lack of adequate social protection systems add to the vulnerability of the poor. If these systems are well designed, they can help prevent and reduce poverty and inequality at every stage of life.
The proportion of vulnerable populations covered under social protection scheme is still low. In 2016, only 22 per cent of the unemployed worldwide received unemployment benefits, 28 per cent of people with severe disabilities collected a disability pension, 35 per cent of children were covered by social protection, 41 per cent of women giving birth received maternity benefits, and 68 per cent of people above retirement age collected a pension.
All around the world, social protection specialists from different UN agencies support governments to implement social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems. This is a two-step approach:
(1) supporting governments to adopt national social protection strategies through national dialogue, and
(2) supporting the design or reform of social protection schemes, the development of relevant legal frameworks, and the implementation of such schemes. The joint effort would further help to fulfil proposed sustainable development targets on reducing inequalities.