Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2024 (29 April - 10 May 2024)

Session title: Child-focused social protection in the age of cash, conflicts, cities and climate risks
25 Apr 23 14:00-15:30   (Salle 9)

Abstract Summary/ Problem Statement

• The quadruple threats (conflict/fragility, climate change, gender inequality and social exclusion esp. in urban centers) continue to challenge the humanitarian system like never before creating hotspots where the most vulnerable children and families currently are living(1). In its 2023 Global Risk Outlook, WEF refers to evolving “polycrises” (2)

• Children are being pushed deeper into poverty & further out of sight by compounding effects of urban fragility, conflict, climate change, social exclusion and inequality – as recently developed detailed mapping of 50,000 datasets indicates [link TBD].

• Climate risks increase likelihood of violence against children, in particular in urban contexts(3)

• According to UNICEF, 1 bn children are vulnerable to the impact of climate change (4)

• Urban spaces are at the same time directly impacted by climate risks and are host to climate displaced people from rural areas. Often social protection systems and other governance mechanisms of municipalities and other authorities are not geared to support affected populations impacted by these scenarios.

• US$ 8 Trillion is the estimated cumulative damage from climate change by 2050, impoverishing the world by 3% of GDP (5). The impact will be highest in Asian economies: projection of 5.5% GDP if Paris Agreement targets would actually be met which is unlikely; 26.5% if no mitigating actions are taken).

• Solutions still seem to be “insular” (6), not well integrated, leveraging cross-sector and needs-focused synergies.

• The height of COVID-19 pandemic saw a substantive increase of humanitarian cash transfer enabled urban programs (7), in-kind and service provision as well as utilizing more Government-led Social Protection delivery mechanisms (8) and governments’ own efforts to expand cash assistance. How could child-sensitive social protection (9) that is enabling adaptation be better leveraged in climate and disaster risk informed development and humanitarian plans in urban areas?

• Cash facilitates local markets and can reduce environmental impact if properly programmed, but also foster (child sensitive social) protection (9).

• How can commitments to the Climate Charter Principles be underpinned by tangible examples of best practice from humanitarian practitioners, social policy and urban programming experts and ensuring effective accountability (10)

• In order to not only articulate vulnerability better from a children’s perspective but also leverage and connect existing tools, solutions and mechanisms, the session aims to convey current and increasing extent of multi-dimensional vulnerability as well as new approaches leveraging existing tools, mechanisms, synergies more holistically across urban, humanitarian, social protection and climate risk and child protection experts, initiate dialogue and collaboration between different thematic and sector networks beyond HNPW 2023.

Session Objectives

In line with agencies commitments to the Climate Charter in 2021/2022, Principle 1 “Step up our response to growing humanitarian needs and help people adapt to impacts of climate and environmental crisis” by reducing risks and vulnerabilities (gender, age, structural inequity, poverty, violence) and enhancing climate change adaption, this session aims to promote a better understanding of using existing tools, focusing on most vulnerable children in urban settings including fragile cities, addressing vulnerability of climate change induced complex disasters and chronic poverty with impactful environmental and child sensitive social protection by:

• Highlighting current gaps in social protection coverage and comprehensiveness in urban areas, including cash transfer programming, e.g. How can child-sensitive social protection that at is enabling adaptation, be better leveraged in urban climate and environmental adaptation as part of humanitarian action?

• Sharing best practice experiences and tools/ mechanism to address multi-dimensional vulnerability and poverty, e.g., EHA connect

• Learning from best practice initiatives in Asia, LAC, MENA, SAR

• Engaging with audience in Q&A, discussion, recommendations, issues and solutions highlighted and agreeing jointly on key next steps to improve leverage of cash/ SP for urban fragility affecting most vulnerable children from socio-economically excluded groups



Draft Agenda:

  • Keynote presentation framing the issues followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with presenters and audience to ensure interactive session and sharing of experiences
  • Sharing experiences from MENA, Asia/LAC, SAR
  • 1 sentence statements from each panelist on gaps/ challenges
  • Key takeaways (moderator summary)


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