Weaving Social Safety Nets | Asian Development Bank

Weaving Social Safety Nets

Publication | December 2010
Weaving Social Safety Nets

The recent economic slowdown, the preceding period episode of high food and oil prices, and the ever-present risk of natural disasters have highlighted that Pacific island countries and their people are very vulnerable to economic and natural forces beyond their control. Informal support provided by extended families and communities to those in need have been coming under increasing strain and no longer offer sufficient protection to those facing temporary hardship. This policy brief provides an overview of the role of social safety nets in protecting vulnerable groups during times of stress, and outlines key factors that should be considered in the design of such programs. The key response should be to plan ahead and have appropriate policies and programs in place to protect the vulnerable before a crisis hits.


  • Foreword
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • What Does a Social Safety Net Look Like?
  • Why the Interest in Social Safety Nets Now?
  • How Pertinent is This to the Pacific?
  • Do People Really Need This Kind of Help?
  • Can Pacific Island Countries Afford Social Safety Nets?
  • Designing Social Safety Nets for Pacific Island Countries
  • Conclusion: Helping Those Most in Need
  • References
  • Appendix 1: Types of Social Safety Nets
  • Appendix 2: Country Experiences with Social Safety Nets