Social Welfare

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Social Welfare and Change Programs

The government sponsors many social welfare programs, largely through the Ministries of Social Affairs, Women and the Family, Labour and Social security and Agriculture. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become increasingly involved in social welfare and the development of the civil society. Their importance has increased as government functions were cut back during the 1990s period of economic and political crisis as well as the current security situations prevailing in the northern regions and the Anglophone regions.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Most NGOs fall into one of two types: those with a focus on social problems such as AIDS awareness, condom distribution, and street children; and ethnic development associations that link urban migrants with their home villages, build hospitals, schools, and bridges “back home,” and organize urban ethnic festivals. Ethnic associations often are organized as rotating credit associations, building on a long tradition of mutual aid in both rural and urban areas. They reflect the increasing importance of ethnicity in national and local politics.