The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with the World Bank and other partners, has engaged stakeholders within the five regions of the North towards developing a national social protection shock response strategy.
The government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) is working with the World Bank and UNICEF to review the social protection systems and current adhoc strategies responsiveness to shocks.
As part of this, two research studies have been commissioned by the World Bank and UNICEF; the first seek to document past shock response for lessons stock-taking as well as examining these responses with a gender lens.
It is clear over the years, social protection interventions are fundamental to responding to shocks such as national disaster (e.g, floods and fire outbreak), economic, crisis, pandemics, conflicts, and forced displacements.
These interventions are usually transient in nature to cushion affected persons, especial the vulnerable to mitigate the impact of the shock event and prevent them from adopting negative coping mechanisms.
The national social protection policy accordingly highlights the need to provide emergency assistance to persons who may need it in addition to long-term support where necessary.
The policy also identifies the need to build capacities of national and decentralized level (regions, district, and communities) actors to understand and identify the linkages between disaster preparedness, risk management and social assistance for integration into their plans and activities, public, private, civil society and community actors to be equipped for better disaster, risk anticipation and management , and for the MoGCSP to work with national disaster management organization (NADMO), Ministry of Finance and other key parties at promoting risk financing.
Ghana’s shock response in the past has however been sporadic and exposed limitations including absence of committed funding and ready data for beneficiary targeting, weak coordination among the various stakeholders in the delivery chain, lack of clarity with respect to channels for delivery and response timelines.
The experiences and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for government to be more strategic in responding to shocks by not only identifying suitable interventions but also ensuring the existence of systems that can be adapted for the delivery of these interventions.
In her welcome remarks, social protection specialist at the world bank Madam Cynthia Nimo Ampredu, highlight the important of the workshop.
She said although government through the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection has over the past provided a shot social protection support in respond to floods and in recent times COVID-19 pandemic, “this support has mostly been adhoc in nature with limited strategy approach”, she said.
She explained further that, “the need for a strategy for such intervention is important as shocks has become more evidence. I believe the bigger lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is for government to be prepared to provide social protection support, such support cannot be efficient without strategic approach” hence, the world bank in collaboration with the UNICEF is supporting the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection to develop social protection shocks responds strategy with support from the other partners.
Speaking to the media on the sideline of the workshop, the Director for policy, planning, monitoring, and evaluation at the ministry indicated that, the current social protection in the country is inadequate to address shocks related issues when they occur”.
He said it is prudent for Ghana to build a robust shock response social protection system that can effectively address and respond to the needs of Ghanaians during emergency.
Story By: Alhassan Yakubu |www.diamondfmonline.com |Ghana.