Analysis of social transfers for children and their families in Kazakhstan

February 2015
Babken Babajanian, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Heiner Salomon
In the last decade, there has been significant progress in improving the economic and social conditions in Kazakhstan. Yet poverty remains a prominent problem and many people remain vulnerable to social and economic risks.

The Government of Kazakhstan considers social assistance as a critical policy tool for supporting people who are unable to earn sufficient income to maintain their livelihoods. The long-term Strategic Development Plan ‘Kazakhstan-2050’ asserts the state’s responsibility for guaranteeing ‘minimum social standards’ to enable all citizens to meet their priority needs. It maintains that the state needs to take ‘full responsibility’ for targeted social assistance for vulnerable groups, namely those who are unable to work, individuals with a disability, and sick or old persons.

With these strategies and objectives in mind, this study provides a practical contribution to the policy discussions. In particular, it assesses the extent to which the existing social cash transfers support poor and vulnerable children and their families and discusses policy options for improving social assistance to address their needs more effectively.

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