Rural social security for Zimbabwe: Challenges and opportunities for state and non-state actors
Social security remains critical to the welfare needs of many in society. However, for developing countries like Zimbabwe, social assistance and social allowances have receded due to the prevailing economic challenges. The hard hit are those living in rural areas mostly not covered by the remaining social insurance schemes provided by both government and private players. Severe droughts and occasional floods resulting mainly from climate change have further exposed the rural population whose livelihoods sources remain mostly agro-based to perennial social insecurity. For them, the remaining sources of livelihood now reside in non-formal social security arrangements anchored upon a staggering cultural base being eroded by the fast encroaching tide of neoliberal individualistic ways of life. Regrettably, government has got no institutional framework to promote non-formal security arrangements upon which the rural folk have depended since time immemorial. This paper therefore seeks to examine the institutional mechanisms required to bolster and promote existing social security programmes in the rural areas of Zimbabwe.
Key words: Social security, social protection, non-formal social security, Livelihoods, poverty reduction