Govt. embarks on National Social Protection Policy consultations
Monze, July 10, ZANIS—Government has embarked on carrying out consultations with stakeholders on the development process of the National Social Protection policy whose main objective will be to guide the development and implementation of multi-sectoral poverty reduction programs and promote rights of the poor and vulnerable in society.
The consultations which are being conducted by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health are intended to get views from stakeholders with a view of influencing the direction which the policy will take.
This came to light when the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health conducted the consultation meeting on the development of the social protection policy for the District Development Coordinating Committee(DDCC),NGOs, Civil society organizations and faith based organizations at the council planning conference unit in Monze yesterday.
Speaking during the consultative meeting, Marian Tembo who led the team that was facilitating the consultations said that the development of the policy was cardinal for enhancing poor and vulnerable people’s livelihoods, creation of opportunities and ensuring that they participate and benefit from the nation’s developmental initiatives.
Mrs. Tembo explained that the decision by Government to develop the policy on social protection was made after realizing that high levels of extreme poverty and vulnerability coupled with multiple effects of HIV/AIDS and unemployment provided a strong justification for the need to develop the policy as stated in the 5th National Development Plan of 2006 to 2010.
She said the decision was further influenced during the formulation of the 6th National development plan of 2011 to 2015 where stakeholders realized the need for the national social protection policy.
Mrs. Tembo said once developed, the policy would guide multi-sectoral protection programs, provide an entry point for external support towards social protection service delivery and establish well structured, coordinated resourced social protection service delivery frame work.
She added that the development of the policy was critical in avoiding fragmentation and duplication of programs including waste of scarce resources.
And stakeholders that attended the consultative meeting in Monze have welcomed the move by Government to develop the social protection policy.
Jubilee Zambia Monze chapter coordinator Phoebe Moono called on Government to put in place a proper monitoring system that would ensure that resources meant to provide social protection to the vulnerable trickles down to targeted beneficiaries and are used for the intended purposes.
Mrs. Moono said Government must consider using the bottom up approach whenever undertaking consultations on various issues of national interest such the development of the social protection policy.
However, other concerns raised by stakeholders at the same meeting included the need for Government to consider setting up guaranteed budget allocation towards social protection programs and take social security as an integral part of social protection rather than concentrating on issues such as pensions alone.