Social protection for enhanced food security in sub-Saharan Africa
This paper in the Food Policy journal identifies several positive synergies between social protection programs and enhanced food security and entitlements to food. The author argues that entitlements to food can be strengthened, if social justice principles are introduced to the design and delivery of social protection programs. Examples reviewed include rights-based approaches such as employment guarantee schemes, community-based targeting and demand-driven accountability mechanisms. One function of social protection is to manage or reduce vulnerability. Several instruments are like weather-indexed insurance, public works programs, emergency food aid and buffer stock management were reviewed. All these instruments aim to stabilize income and access to food across good and bad years, or between the harvest and the hungry season. Other social protection instruments aim to raise household income and crop production, for instance agricultural input subsidies or input trade fairs, as well as public works projects that construct or maintain physical infrastructure such as rural feeder roads. The paper concludes by arguing for a comprehensive approach to social protection that will achieve sustainable food security, by combining interventions that stabilize income or food production with those that raise income or food production, and are designed and delivered in ways that enhance social justice.