The IPC-IG and WFP Mozambique shared knowledge on the expansion of social protection coverage in response to COVID-19

Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR - Agência Brasil

The technical session “The Brazilian case of interinstitutional and multilevel coordination to expand the coverage of the social protection system in the response to COVID-19” was held on 13 October 2022 by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the World Food Programme (WFP) Mozambique Country Office. The goal was to promote knowledge sharing between Brazil and Mozambique regarding the inclusion of beneficiaries of emergency social protection programmes in regular social protection programmes.  

One of the main mechanisms to support vulnerable Brazilians during the COVID-19 pandemic was the Emergency Aid (Auxílio Emergencial—AE) federal cash transfer programme. After the pandemic, part of the AE beneficiary households were included in Auxílio Brasil, the programme that substituted Bolsa Família. This was made possible by multisectoral coordination and the use of the Brazilian Single Registry of Beneficiaries of Social Programmes, Cadastro Único (CadÚnico).  

The Brazilian experience is relevant for other countries in the Global South, as it has proven effective in expanding social protection coverage for families most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Marina Brito Pinheiro, a researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada—Ipea), discussed how Brazil deals with emergencies and calamities through the country’s Social Assistance Policy, and more specifically through the Unified System for Social Assistance (Sistema Único de Assistência Social—SUAS).  

Among the main disasters dealt with by SUAS, Marina highlighted the heavy rains that hit the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais during 2011 and 2012, the rupture of two tailing dams in the cities of Mariana and Brumadinho, in the state of Minas Gerais, in 2015 and 2019, respectively, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She also stated that the action stages of Brazilian social assistance are based on pre-emergency risk management, and disaster management during and after emergencies.  

The event was open to invitees only, and featured a moment for questions and answers, in which participants could interact with each other. Thanks to its hybrid format, members of the WFP Working Group for Adaptive Social Protection and representatives from Government of Mozambique were able to participate in person. The other participants were able to attend the session remotely. The session was held in Portuguese. 

The event was carried out under the framework of the project “Support the World Food Programme (WFP) in generating evidence on shock responsive social protection in Mozambique”, which includes urban programming, digital cash payments and technical support sessions to the government of Mozambique regarding rapid-onset and slow-onset disaster recovery. As part of the project, another technical session was held earlier this year, also featuring international experts on shock-responsive social protection and data protection for social protection beneficiaries. A third technical session will deal with responsive social protection in urban contexts. In addition to the sessions themselves, the project will also feature a series of publications and a webinar.  

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