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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

The International Monetary Fund’s engagement on social safety net (SSN) issues is likely to expand as member countries respond to growing challenges in the economic and fiscal landscape. SSNs play a crucial role in protecting households from poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and maintaining social stability. This technical note discusses (1) the different channels through which SSN spending may become macro-critical, (2) how to assess the importance of these channels, and (3) the types of policy responses that are appropriate and the trade-offs involved in choosing among them. To facilitate a more comprehensive assessment of SSN spending, the paper also examines the complementary role of labor market programs (for example, unemployment benefits and active labor market programs). The paper emphasizes the importance of early engagement and coordination with development partners with expertise on social safety nets and with different stakeholders when formulating policy advice.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The International Monetary Fund’s engagement on social safety net (SSN) issues is likely to expand as member countries respond to growing challenges in the economic and fiscal landscape. SSNs play a crucial role in protecting households from poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and maintaining social stability. This technical note discusses (1) the different channels through which SSN spending may become macro-critical, (2) how to assess the importance of these channels, and (3) the types of policy responses that are appropriate and the trade-offs involved in choosing among them. To facilitate a more comprehensive assessment of SSN spending, the paper also examines the complementary role of labor market programs (for example, unemployment benefits and active labor market programs). The paper emphasizes the importance of early engagement and coordination with development partners with expertise on social safety nets and with different stakeholders when formulating policy advice.