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Social safety nets in the development of a welfare system in Pakistan: an analysis of the Benazir Income Support Programme

Zahid Mumtaz and Peter Whiteford ()

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2017, vol. 39, issue 1, 16-38

Abstract: This article analyses the Benazir Income Support Programme as an ongoing social safety net programme in Pakistan aimed at reducing poverty and improving education and health outcomes at the programme and national levels. Social safety nets in a lower middle income country such as Pakistan are considered an effective measure for combating poverty and improving education and health. In Pakistan, however, domestic fiscal constraints limit the coverage of social safety net programmes. Also, the limited cash transfers that households receive through these programmes force them to utilise the transfers largely for immediate living consumption, leaving little for spending on improving education and health. Increased financing of social safety nets not only will increase the coverage of the programmes, but will also be valuable in improving education and health outcomes, which are essential for developing an effective and sustainable welfare system in Pakistan.

Date: 2017
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