Economic Support Programs Aid Families
The International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC) “defines economic security as the ability of individuals, households or communities to cover their essential needs sustainably and with dignity.” Basic needs include “food, basic shelter, clothing and hygiene” and economic support programs aid families by providing low-income households with essential financial support to meet these needs and more.

For the Jefas Program

A municipality in Mexico City, Miguel Hidalgo, is providing financial support through the For the Jefas program to “2,000 women who are mothers and the only breadwinner in their home.” Announced in February 2022, the program’s overall aim is to “cover and complement family spending” in order for families to meet their basic needs. The funding involves three disbursements of 5,000 pesos each.

In addition to this economic assistance, the program offers women skills training courses to improve employability, and thus, increase their chances of securing skilled employment. A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that economic security programs have the potential to lift people out of poverty, especially in the case of marginalized groups and children.

Economic Support Programs Alleviate Poverty

Government programs such as For the Jefas present a successful approach in reducing poverty and providing families with the opportunity to escape generational poverty. Economic support programs aid families by bolstering the income of low-income families, especially those headed by single women, ultimately allowing families to afford basic needs and keep children out of poverty. According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, economic security programs have long-term benefits as more resources improve children’s school performance and increase their earning potential as they enter the job force.

3 Benefits of Economic Support Programs

  1. Improves mental health outcomes: Poverty-related stress has negative long-term impacts on children’s development and physical health. Economic support programs aid families by reducing or eliminating financial stressors, allowing families to not just survive but thrive.
  2. Increases nutrition while decreasing illness: Poor nutrition links to chronic metabolism-related illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Access to nutritionally rich foods has long-term benefits for children as they are less likely to develop chronic illnesses in adulthood. Economic support programs aid families by providing the financial resources necessary to purchase and access nutritional food.
  3. Boosts children’s school achievement and future economic success: Economists find that additional income leads to an increase in children’s reading and math test scores. Academic success tends to follow children into adulthood where they have a greater opportunity for higher-earning and employment rates.

Income Support Stabilizes Household Budgets

Poverty reduction policy solutions such as economic support programs are more vital than ever as COVID-19 disproportionately impacts low-income households. Programs such as For the Jefas provide the most important element of a stable household budget, sufficient income. The program also provides training and education for mothers, which ultimately allows families to achieve self-sufficiency. Single-family households receiving income support also see an increase in labor force participation from single mothers with children.

Economic support programs aid families by ensuring that low-income households have the necessary income for basic expenses and increase learning and job opportunities for children.

Jennifer Hendricks
Photo: Flickr