Why UNICEF & G20 Are Pushing for Stronger Social Protection Systems?

What is social protection system? And how a stronger social protection system will help you? Read on this story to understand how this partnership between UNICEF & G20 will strengthen the security?

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UNICEF India G20 Stronger Social Protection Systems

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The G20 Disaster Risk Resilience Working Group and UNICEF convened with delegates from the G20 countries, International Finance Institutions (IFI), United Nations agencies, civil society, private sector and community members to discuss ‘Strengthening Social Protection Systems for Climate and Disaster Risk Management’, in Mumbai.

G20: Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group

The session, held on the side-lines of the 2nd Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group of G20 countries, deliberated on building a shared understanding among all stakeholders of making social protection system, an effective and preferred instrument for disaster risk financing. The discussions emphasized the need for new-age Social Protection Systems that invest in local risk resilience to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Krishna Vatsa, Member NDMA, said, “Social Protection is not only about poverty alleviation but also empowerment of people to thrive despite disasters. Going forward, we must pursue financial inclusion, focus on building back assets and livelihood, restore the social networks which generate trust and most importantly encourage women-led participation and development.”

Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF India Representative, said, “This G20 forum highlighting shock responsive social protection in disaster risk reduction is important and timely, at the mid-point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such systems protect the most vulnerable. Children and women in shock prone settings are most at risk of being left behind because of increasing frequency, magnitude and overlaying of shocks, especially those resulting from climate change. Protecting and empowering them is most effective through comprehensive ‘systems’ that are risk informed, flexible, and enable local governments to support the poor and most vulnerable during difficult times. We look forward to the South-South collaboration to accelerate learning and evidence-based actions in disaster prone countries to strengthen shock responsiveness of social protection systems, to reach the most vulnerable, especially children, youth and women.”

Social protection system consists of mechanisms to provide assistance for employment and livelihoods security, social housing, cash transfers, micro-insurance, financial inclusion, food security, various kinds of social services, and special assistance for vulnerable groups.

National governments, international and local institutions have a critical role to mobilize financial, technical and human capital to strengthen disaster risk management systems and other development systems to deliver resources where they are needed the most to build risk-resilience.

Social protection has emerged as an important policy instrument to utilise Disaster Risk Finances particularly for the most vulnerable groups and improve their uninterrupted access to intermediate technologies and innovative financing mechanisms for safe housing, clean drinking water, sanitation, power supply and other social sector services and facilities.

Speakers highlighted the need for strong collaboration between Disaster Risk Management and Social Protection Systems, especially at the local level, with the active support of civil society, the private sector and community-based structures.

While the civil society can actively facilitate the link between the demand and supply of support and services, the private sector can contribute to building resilient business ecosystems and enhance the effectiveness of social protection systems.

The speakers also urged governments to support community-based structures – through necessary capacity, information, and resources – to empower them to serve as first front-line responders during disasters.

A compendium of case studies entitled ‘Shock Responsive Social Protection’ highlighting good practices and lessons from G20 member countries including Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa, was released on this occasion. Knowledge Partners of the Compendium include UNICEF, WFP, IIED, FCDO, CARE India, Sphere India, CARITAS, GIZ, and KfW.

Partners were called to collaborate on the development of a global knowledge exchange platform on Shock Responsive Social Protection for Climate and Disaster Risk Management.