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Social Protection

Building social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems


Updated by Carla Alcobia , Rubén Vicente on 09.12.2016

The Social Protection system in Mozambique has been organized in three levels: non-contributory basic, compulsory, and complementary social security (Law 4, 2007). Basic Social Protection, in essence, involves non-contributory transfers and other welfare services for the poorest households, elderly, disabled, those who are chronically ill, and households with orphans and vulnerable children. The compulsory or contributory social security consists in social insurance for formal workers and public servants, including old-age pensions, cash sickness and maternity benefits, hospitalization, cash death grants and allowances for burial expenses. The complementary social security adds to the benefits at the compulsory level.

In May 2008, the Mozambican Minister of Social Affairs addressed a request to the ILO for assistance in designing a Social Protection Floor. ILO responded through the STEP Portugal project, a technical cooperation project that works to improve public policies and strengthen institutional capacity for the extension of social protection in Portuguese-speaking African countries. The project contributes to the implementation of the Social Protection Floor in Mozambique, mainly by strengthening the capacity of national public institutions responsible for elaborating and implementing social protection policies and for coordinating the assistance provided by international development partners in this field.

Significant institutional strides have recently been achieved in the area of extending basic social protection in Mozambique. The approval in 2010 of the Regulation for Basic Social Security and the National Strategy for Basic Social Security (ENSSB) paved the way for comprehensive and coordinated efforts to extend coverage and improve efficiency in delivery of social security benefits. Earlier in 2007, the Social Protection Law was the first step, establishing a mix of funding mechanisms and offering a set of potential benefits and programmes aligned with the Social Protection Floor definition. The Regulation was a step forward, protecting key rights, establishing universalization as a goal, but also noting that the extension of social protection will be gradual, in accordance with national capacity. This regulation defines four areas of intervention: direct social action (cash and in-kind transfers), health social action, productive social action and education social action. All this has led to an increased interest from national and international stakeholders translated for instance by a much higher profile of social protection in the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) (PARP 2011-2014).

As of 2011, Mozambique has limited statutory provision on 5 branches of security (sickness, maternity, old age, invalidity and survivor) covered by at least one programme.♦