The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment is moving apace with the review and updating of the National Social Protection Policy and Action Plan (NSPPAP) 2022-2030. The NSPP revision is a key component of the Human Capital Resilience Project (HCRP), the implementation of which is being led by the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment with funding from the World Bank.
Recent developments such as climate change, pandemics and related and unrelated socio-economic shocks have dramatically impacted the socio-economic situation for all citizens, and most especially for vulnerable communities. The aim of the updating of the NSPP is to ensure that it is responsive to the times and adequately addresses the risks faced by the population. To this end, the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment procured the services of a Consultant to update the 2015 Policy to adequately understand the current situation and develop appropriate adaptive responses.
The input of state agencies and civil society organizations involved in social care and social protection services have informed the policy review. Over the last few months, the Ministry, along with the Social Protection Consultant conducted a number of consultations with technical officers of partnering Government Agencies and a broad range of other key sectoral stakeholders.
On May 05, 2022, ahead of a series of public consultations, the draft was presented by the Social Protection Consultant to key stakeholders and lead implementing agencies, notably the Ministries of Health, Education, Labor, Planning, Finance and the National Insurance Corporation (NIC).
The updated draft of the National Social Protection Policy and Action Plan, represents The Government of Saint Lucia’s (GOSL) commitment to implement policies and programmes intended to result in socio-economic transformation and improved livelihoods of its citizens. This is in keeping with government’s commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, that speaks to reducing poverty and deprivation among households, and the various risks and vulnerabilities faced by older persons, adults of working age, youth, children, women, and persons with disabilities, which negatively impact their quality of life, as well as enhancing the resilience of communities against natural disasters.
From May 17th – 25th members of the public will have an opportunity to scrutinize and provide feedback on the Revised National Social Protection Policy when island wide community consultations take place. According to Project Coordinator Juliana Daniel-Foster, given the scope and significance of the national policy “it is of paramount importance that we engage the public to ensure that they are aware of the provisions outlined in the policy and that they speak to these provisions before submission can go to Cabinet for final endorsement”.
Soufriere, Choiseul and Canaries are scheduled for May 17th at the Leisure Inn, New Development Vieux Fort, followed by Gros Islet, Monchy, Babonneau, Castries North and Castries Central on May 18th at the Pastoral Centre. On May 19th residents of the Castries/Anse La Raye region will meet at Jon Odlum Secondary School, Marigot. May 24th will see residents of Vieux Fort and Laborie meeting at the NSDC in Vieux Fort. Consultations conclude on May 25th with residents of Micoud and Dennery at Chateau Heritage in Dennery. All consultations start at 5 PM.
The schedule for public consultations can be accessed on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Equity, and is being publicized on popular media channels.
The Ministry urges the public, especially Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), youth workers, Faith Based Organizations, the elderly and local community groups to come out and let their voices be heard and reflected in this important activity.