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Amb. Ndomahina Launches Workshop on the Retrospective Study of the Evolution of Social Protection in Sierra Leone

Occasions Resort Lakka,

Tuesday 27th February 2024

The Commissioner of NaCSA Ambassador Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina has officially launched the consultative workshop on the retrospective study of the evolution of social protection in Sierra Leone. The workshop brings together subject matter experts from various Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

The government of Sierra Leone places social protection at the top of its priority. More than 190,000 severely poor households have received a regular cash transfer through the organization's flagship Social Safety Net (SSN) program and other social security programs since 2014. Furthermore, the government has committed to building a strong national social protection system and providing the populace with high-quality social protection services to improve human capital under the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019–2023 (MTNDP).

An integrated National Social Protection Strategy has been designed to reinforce the sector's strategic vision and direction. The National Social Protection Strategy describes the strategic priority areas for the next five years to fulfil the policy objectives outlined in the strategy. This strategy is the outcome of a national consultative process that was assisted by international social protection specialists.

The Acting Deputy Representative of Programmes at UNICEF, Mona Korsgard connected the social protection journey and the show of resilience by the Sierra Leoneans, especially women and children. *‘’The goal of this endeavour is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the social protection system and initiatives implemented in Sierra Leone during the past 20 years. Its main objective is to thoroughly analyze and evaluate the sector's programmatic, structural, and policy evolution; to record significant turning points; and to identify lessons learned and formulate strategic suggestions that will influence and direct future endeavours.’’* She noted.

On this august occasion, the Senior Social Protection Specialist for the World Bank Dr Abu Kargbo applauded the expressed commitment from sector MDAs, private sector and donor partners in pushing the social protection agenda. *‘’ Today’s sessions will allow us to properly document the social protection journey in Sierra Leone. This is one of the rationales why the consultants were meticulously recruited taking into account professional experiences and academic background. After the finalization of this document, we will be proud as a nation.’’* He ended.

In declaring the workshop open, on behalf of the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, Commissioner Ndomahina noted *‘’As a quick run-through, a study on the rebuilding effort of the nation conducted in 2008 carried findings including widespread poverty, unpredictable delays in the payment of cash allowances, the need for special provision for vulnerable groups; disabilities, occupation preferences, and family ties, job creation and access; and promotion of micro and small businesses. Critical to demobilization and rehabilitation interventions was the need to provide social and economic security for the population.’’* He re-echoed that the previous national development plans and the current Big Five game changers focused on Social Action and Poverty Alleviation programs.

In January 2020, he noted, *the revised National Social Protection Policy was launched and it sought to adopt a life-cycle approach. As expected, the Policy reveals the Government's initiative to pursue interventions through the main systems of social protection – social insurance, social assistance, Jobs and traditional social protection – to reduce risks, vulnerability, exclusion, discrimination and hunger for the chronically poor, the economically at risk and the socially vulnerable. expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to actors in the social protection sector.’’*

*‘’As the sector continues to evolve, a documentation and stocktaking exercise is being undertaken to review/assess the progress of the Social Protection sector in Sierra Leone, documenting the evolution of the sector, documenting and generating lessons learnt and seeking to generate strategic recommendations for the way forward. Against this backdrop, the consultants have done some work with gaps to fill, I am reliably informed. On that note and on behalf of the President and people of Sierra Leone, I wish you engaging and fruitful deliberations with innovative ideas, to shape the social protection sector.’’* Commissioner Ndomahina ended.

*For further information on this and other matters, * *Please contact:* *The Information, Education and Communication Unit* *+23277022709/+23278319419/+23230518539*

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