Social Development

Signage for the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo: WIC News)

World Bank approves US$75- million grant to boost Haiti’s social protection programme

Signage for the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo: WIC News)

The Republic of Haiti will benefit from a US$75-million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) — a subsidiary of the World Bank — which will support the Adaptive Social Protection for Increased Resilience Project (ASPIRE).

The World Bank yesterday announced that its board of executive directors approved grant-funding for the project, which will support Haiti’s efforts to establish an adaptive safety net system to respond to shocks, including COVID-19, and to reduce vulnerability to food insecurity and future disasters.

“Social protection systems have the potential to enhance human capital, reduce inequality, build resilience, and end cycles of poverty,” according to Javier Suarez, World Bank acting country manager for Haiti.

World Bank Acting Country Manager for Haiti Javier Suarez
(Photo: World Bank

“This project provides immediate resources to help the most vulnerable households, while also supporting Haiti to establish the foundations of a social protection program to build resilience and develop human capital in the medium term,” he added.

Cash transfers and social protection

As part of the ASPIRE project, Haitian authorities will provide immediate support to poor and vulnerable households through regular unconditional cash transfers and measures to improve health, nutrition, and financial inclusion.

The ASPIRE project will effect cash transfers to, among others, people “located in rural areas prone to natural disasters” farmer in Haiti prepares a plot of land for rice farming. (File photo)

To this end, some 18,000 families — or 90,000 individuals — which the World Bank considers to be “extremely poor, located in rural areas prone to natural disasters, and living with small children, pregnant women, or persons with disabilities” will benefit from the project. Through cash transfers, ASPIRE will build the capacity of these people to prepare for, cope with, and adapt to shocks.

As an adaptive safety net, the project can also scale up the cash transfer programme in cases of emergencies, such as natural disasters or health crises. Another aim of ASPIRE is to improve the capacity of Haiti’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) to manage and govern social protection programmes