Since at least 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day, much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are coordinating a Social Protection Floor Initiative as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection for their citizens. 

The concept of a social protection floor (SPF) is very clear: no one should live below a certain income level and everyone should be able to access at least basic health services, primary education, housing, water, sanitation and other essential services. 

Among many examples of SPF success stories are extension of health services coverage in Rwanda, Ghana and Thailand; introduction of cash benefits such as social pensions and child benefits in Namibia, Bolivia and South Africa; introduction of public works programs to guarantee benefits for the unemployed and underemployed in India; comprehensive sets of social protection benefits introduced in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. 

In support of the SPF initiative, the NGO Committee for Social Development is seeking a million signatures to present to the UN Commission on Social Development in February 2012. For SPF materials in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, go to

Please sign the petition and invite others to do so as well:  (English)   (Français)  (Español)    (Portuges)


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