Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director at South Sudan National Social Protection Policy Validation Workshop

18 May 2013

Juba, South Sudan

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-         Honourable Minister and Undersecretaries,

-         Honourable Government and State Representatives,

-         Representatives of Development partners and Civil Society Organizations,

-         Ladies and Gentlemen.

UNDP is pleased to support the Government of South Sudan and Ministry of Gender Child & Social Welfare in this social protection validation workshop.  

 

The nascent nation of South Sudan faces formidable challenges. This workshop aims at addressing one of these: building an effective, efficient and integrated Social Protection System. It also highlights the continued commitment and leadership of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, and of key line ministries to this cause.   

 

Today’s workshop is critical in shaping this policy document. It is a quality assurance process intended to check and evaluate the document, and enhance the policies it describes. This day also provides you the opportunity to assess the substantive content and structure of the document and, above all, its practical feasibility. 

 

The social protection policy document lays out strategies for improving the socio-economic status of the poor and vulnerable, and guidelines to stakeholders in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of social protection programs. It also helps establish an institutional framework for implementing social protection programs. 

Social protection programmes, including cash transfers are spreading across the Global South. In the short term they reduce vulnerability and poverty, and alleviate suffering. In the medium term, they reduce social tension, allow poor people to raise their human capital and pursue their plans to increase their productivity and incomes.

Today, 45 countries are implementing social protection schemes, benefiting over 110 million families across the global south. They are seeing a significant reduction in vulnerability and extreme poverty. Millions of children are now in school because their families can afford to buy them school clothes and shoes, and can get by without the few pennies their labour could earn. 

The Republic of South Sudan recognizes the importance of embedding social protection in its national socio-economic development strategy.

UNDP and UNICEF, the World Bank, DFID, and other development partners can play a role in making social protection politically attractive and fiscally affordable. Clearly, a well designed social protection system—including modest and reasonably targeted cash transfers can contribute markedly toward social cohesion and political stability.

UNDP is committed to promoting inclusive, pro-poor, equitable development. And with regard to the topic in focus today, UNDP is committed to establishing an integrated, effective yet affordable social protection system in South Sudan. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a unique opportunity for you to ensure that your views and experience form part of the finalized policy document. As a trusted partner of government in development, UNDP is happy to support this workshop, and wishes you a very productive meeting.

Thank you.