Social Protection in the Asia- Pacific Region
In the past, the Asia-Pacific region did not have an adequate social protection system in place. During the 1997/98 economic crisis it became clear that the vulnerability of the population and the disparity in the region had increased greatly. Nowadays, however, Social Protection is gaining a new momentum.
Many common programmes and projects across the region are considered to be best practices, such as microfinance and public work programmes. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India is a good example of this. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also have well-established programmes although, on the other hand, there are countries like Nepal which has only a non-contributive old age pension. Many programmes are new and some are just being planned, like the Bolsa Mãe in East Timor, and the 4Ps in the Philippines.
The following sections summarises the social insurance/protection schemes operating in Asia and Pacific Island Countries.