These funds are designed to implement the Social Safety Net and Economic Inclusion Project (PFS-AIE), which was officially launched on Monday 11 December 2023 in Yaounde by the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Mr. Alamine Ousmane Mey, in the presence of the World Bank’s Deputy Director of Operations in Cameroon, Guillemette Jaffrin, and the Ministers of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, and of Women Empowerment and the Family, Marie Thérèse Abena Ondoa.
The Adaptive Social Nets and Economic Inclusion Project is a new initiative of the Cameroon-World Bank cooperation. It is a continuation of impressive achievements under the first phase of the Social Safety Net Project from 2013 to 2022. This project which will span the 2023-2028 period is fully consistent with the policy of social protection and inclusive development adopted by the Government. It involves broadening the scope of the social safety net system for the most disadvantaged households, and promoting entrepreneurship among young people aged 18 to 35 in urban areas. “These initiatives will undoubtedly enhance the goals of the 2020-2030 National Development Strategy”, indicated Guillemette Jaffrin.
This large-scale project is structured around 5 programmes: (i) the ordinary cash transfer programme with associated actions to continue supporting disadvantaged households to increase their productivity; (ii) the emergency cash transfer programme in the form of support to disadvantaged households in areas hit by climatic shocks, insecurity and the massive influx of displaced persons and refugees; (iii) the cash transfer programme for labour intensive jobs in rural and urban areas; (iv) the economic inclusion programme for young people aged between 18 and 35, working in the informal sector in urban areas as livelihood business owners; and (v) the business plan competition programme, which provides support to young business owners in urban areas.
The Adaptive Social Nets and Economic Inclusion programme has received financial support from the World Bank worth CFAF 92.752 billion for 217,000 beneficiaries and funding from the State of Cameroon to the tune of CFAF 54 billion for 138,500 beneficiaries. This represents a cumulative amount of CFAF 146.752 billion for a total of 356,000 beneficiaries for the 2023-2028 period.
Speaking at the launch of the Social Safety Nets Adaptative Project on 11 December 2023, Alamine Ousmane Mey pointed out that this new project, which has economic and social implications, “harbours many hopes, in view of its multifaceted impact and its valuable contribution to achieving Cameroon’s emergence through an inclusive approach based on solidarity and shared prosperity”.
As a reminder, Social Safety Nets, the flagship instrument of social assistance in Cameroon, are mechanisms for combating chronic poverty. They involve setting up well-targeted programmes that help beneficiaries withstand shocks and improve their living conditions. These mechanisms were tested in Cameroon during the period 2013-2022, with the assistance of the World Bank and the French development agency (AFD), and enabled 385,500 households (around 2,400,000 individuals) to benefit from cash transfers, for an overall CFAF 54.5 billion, under 4 programmes. This has contributed to a significant improvement in their living conditions and to solving their health, nutrition and education issues, and especially to reviving the local economy through creation of small income-generating activities, particularly in agriculture, animal husbandry, small-scale trade, hairdressing, sewing, manufacture of certain products, acquisition of productive equipment, etc.