National Social Protection Policy receives much-needed update

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by Jacques Hinkson-Compton

Pandemics, climate change, global supply chain issues, inflation and rising oil prices have had a big impact on Saint Lucians.

Improving response time will be among the many areas addressed under the new and improved social protection policy.

Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment Permanent Secretary Velda Joseph said the review was preceded by broad stakeholder engagement.

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“One of the recommendations was about having the legislative framework and the policy framework to support and strengthen the social protection system. In 2014, a National Social Protection Policy was developed and approved by the Cabinet. However, as we look at what we have and how we continue to reinforce our improvements, we of course recognize that the environment is dynamic and as things change, we recognize that there are issues that need to be addressed in a very important, there are still gaps in this policy and we therefore had to review and update this existing policy. We did this through a consultative and collaborative approach because, as I said, social protection is really cross-cutting. It really involves the involvement of a number of actors.

Gaps in the availability of support to several vulnerable groups were highlighted during the consultations.

“I recall issues related to gender and issues related to strategic arrangements related to addressing climate change and building resilience, we felt this was not sufficiently addressed in the 2014 policy and needed We also felt that disability issues needed to be taken into account in this revised policy. We talked about the approach we had in the 2014 policy and we decided, following the consultation process, that “a life skills approach was the best approach for Saint Lucia.”

The revised policy also aims to reduce the dependency of vulnerable groups on the state through the development of employability and life skills, and the strengthening of programs such as the education assistance program (EAP).

THE SOURCE: Government Information Service. Main photo: Archive image

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Joel C. Hicks