Asset Building and the Escape from Poverty: A New Welfare Policy Debate
Asset Building for low–income people through matched savings challenges the focus of traditional poverty-alleviation strategies on income support to enable the poor to escape from poverty and improve their economic and social status. It does not deny the necessity nor the benefits of such support or urge its elimination or even reduction, but considers it insufficient while indispensable. The asset building through savings approach is not claimed to be an alternative to social policy based on income support, but rather is a complement to it. Its proponents claim that it has the potential to help overcome the poverty trap through the empowerment of the poor.