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Social Outlook for Asia and the Pacific

Poorly Protected

image of Social Outlook for Asia and the Pacific

This publication points out that to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific, countries need to step up their investment in people, in particular on social protection, education and health care. To be effective, existing social development policies need to reach the furthest behind. This requires policymakers to identify the country-specific population groups that are disproportionally poor and deprived as well as the specific barriers that hinder their escape from poverty. Recognizing the centrality of addressing poverty in all its manifestations, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.

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Social policies need to reach those left behind

Higher spending does not always guarantee better outcomes. In practice, institutional and governance arrangements as well as policy design and implementation determine the extent to which these investments contribute to eff ective poverty reduction. Well designed and implemented social development policies are critical and eff ective mechanisms for breaking cycles of poverty. Knowing who the poor are is a cost-eff ective way for countries to better direct interventions toward population groups that need them the most.

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