Disability may affect 400 million people in developing countries. People with disabilities are often excluded from school or the workplace and may depend – particularly children – on others in the family for care, and people with disabilities are also vulnerable to social exclusion. As a consequence, people with disabilities are disproportionately represented among the poor. Integrating disability concerns into the World Bank’s mainstream work is an important aspect of poverty alleviation.
The ability to work is the only asset of many of the world's poor. Work can provide individuals with income to meet material needs, reduce social isolation, and impart a sense of dignity and self-worth. By creating opportunities for such work, efficient labor markets directly contribute to poverty reduction.
As the world’s population ages, countries must pay attention to the care and financial support of their elderly citizens. With increases in life expectancy and decreases in fertility rates, the proportion of older people has grown substantially, just as family support and other traditional safety nets have become less certain. This is placing great strain on public social security systems.
|Safety Nets & Transfers|
Safety Nets are mechanisms that protect people against the adverse outcomes of poverty. These include cash and in-kind transfer programs, subsidies, labor-intensive public works programs, and targeted human development programs, among others. Also included are mechanisms to ensure access to essential public services, such as school vouchers or scholarships and fee waivers for health care services or for heating in cold climates.
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Social Funds allow poor people and communities to become actively involved in their own development. Social Funds support small projects ranging from infrastructure and social services to training and microenterprise development which have been identified by communities and presented to the social fund for financing.