A Profile of Social Protection in Pakistan: An Appraisal of Empirical Literature

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The consensus developed in various studies on social protection is that there is no clearly articulated government social protection framework. Various social security schemes and cash assistance programs are developed largely as a series of adhoc responses to problems raised by particular circumstances or recommended by international donor agencies. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) also highlights the fact that the social protection framework contains duplication and overlapping programs and recommends working towards an overall integrated and efficient social protection strategy. This paper presents a review of studies conducted in recent years to describe the structure of social protection in Pakistan. The definition of social protection, an inventory of existing instruments of social protection, identification of gaps and flaws in the existing programs and proposed recommendations for future strategies are summarized in the paper.