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New research on the impact of global economic shocks on children and the policy responses in Central and Western Africa

©UNICEF IRC - Innocenti Working Paper cover page

Since mid-2008, the Innocenti Research Centre has collaborated with the Western and Central Africa Regional Office and other UNICEF offices and academics on research initiatives to simulate the impact of the food price crisis and the global economic crisis on child poverty and deprivation, as well as simulate and discuss the effectiveness of alternative policy responses to shocks in selected countries of Western and Central Africa.

A first working paper from these research initiatives "The impact of the increase in food prices on child poverty and the policy response in Mali", by Sami Bibi, John Cockburn, Massa Coulibaly and Luca Tiberti, has been recently released. It presents the results for Mali of a micro-economic simulation on the impact of the food prices increase in 2006-2008 on different aspects of child well-being. It finds substantial negative consequences for child poverty levels and child nutrition (with rural children resulting more vulnerable to the crisis effects), while the impacts on school participation, access to health services and child work are less strong. A series of policy responses to protect children from the impact of the crisis are discussed, including the proposal of targeting criteria.

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Mali: Forum national pour la protection sociale

A series of new collaborative studies of the impact of the global economic crisis on children based on an innovative methodology combining micro and macro-economic models are currently being developed are expected to be released by the end of the 2009. The countries included in this research initiative are Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Ghana.