ECLAC commits to helping Haiti implement a social protection program

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says it supports Haiti in the implementation of its National Policy for Social Protection and Promotion.

“We at ECLAC remain available to help Haiti forge a social protection system with a state vision and a rights-based perspective that puts equality at the center,” said Alberto Arenas de Mesa, director of the ECLAC Social Development Division. He spoke at an international seminar entitled “Haiti: The challenges of implementing the National Policy for Social Protection and Promotion (PNPPS)”, held in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, using a format hybrid (face-to-face and virtual) .

ECLAC said it organized the event in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) of Haiti, the Haitian office of the World Food Program (WFP) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Haiti, within the framework of the technical assistance and cooperation activities that the Commission has carried out with the Ministry, since 2015, and with the WFP country office, since 2019. These have resulted in the promulgation of the National Policy for Social Protection and Promotion in July 2020.

According to ECLAC, the promulgation of the PNPPS is considered a major political and institutional step forward, since “this instrument defines the strategic framework of the interventions necessary to sustainably respond to priority tasks such as the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities and the promoting the autonomy and rights of all Haitians.

Like the other institutions, ECLAC indicates that it is now focusing on supporting the effective implementation of this policy, in particular the development of action plans at national and departmental level.

The international seminar included opening remarks from Pierre Ricot Odney, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor of Haiti; Marc-André Prost, deputy director of the Haiti office of the World Food Programme; Fabrizio Poretti from the Embassy of Switzerland; and Alberto Arenas de Mesa from ECLAC.

Also participating in the event were officials from MAST and other Haitian entities; government representatives from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay; specialists from ECLAC and MAP; and members of civil society and academia.

In his remarks, Odney said he believed the seminar would help to “identify and very clearly address the distinct challenges in implementing the PNPPS, in order to achieve a coherent and effective social protection system.”

“On behalf of the government, and MAST in particular, I would like to express my gratitude for the efforts of the World Food Program and ECLAC, as well as other United Nations agencies, who have supported us throughout this trip,” he said.

Joel C. Hicks