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Social protection initiatives for Zimbabwe's vulnerable groups: Lessons from sub-Saharan African region
The paper focuses on the theme of Zimbabwe's social protection for the poor, with particular focus on what lessons, if any, the country can learn from the sub-Saharan African region. A number of countries within the Sub-Saharan African region appear to have fared better than Zimbabwe in respect of provision of social protection, especially for vulnerable groups. At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe pledged to promote a viable social protection system that would be predicated on the principles of social justice and equality of opportunity. Nearly four decades later, an analysis of the country's overall performance in this regard suggests otherwise; in fact, over the last couple of decades, in particular, vulnerable groups across the country appear to have been shortchanged. While on paper, a number of social protection programmes targeting the poor are in place, the reality is that many of these have performed rather dismally and hence, numerous deserving poor citizens have not benefited from the schemes. The question that then begs is: What lessons can Zimbabwe draw from the experiences of the sub-region to facilitate more efficient rolling out of social protection programmes for the benefit the country's vulnerable groups?