BARMM partners with UN on social protection program

By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
Managing Editor

(L-R: Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez (Bureau of Public Information Photo)

COTABATO CITY: The Bangsamoro Government signed a social protection program partnership with the United Nations (UN) recently via a virtual launch, targeted to benefit the vulnerable in the region.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim said this partnership is an intervention that will institutionalize a risk-informed shock-responsive social protection system.

“[The direction of this program] will also pave way for a Bangsamoro that is compliant and prioritizes the global call to subscribe in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he stressed.

The said UN partnership also highlights the regional government’s commitment to ensure the Bangsamoro is prepared even after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“I am immensely excited for the eventual outcomes and hopefully, its lasting impact on Bangsamoro communities who desire nothing more but a more peaceful life with opportunities that lie ahead for them,” Ebrahim emphasized.

The social protection program’s objective is to reduce social and economic risk and vulnerability and to alleviate extreme poverty and deprivation, as stated in the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) UN website.

“Planning and acting early through shock-responsive social protection, before a disaster has happened, or reached its critical peak, can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks while increasing the resilience of local communities over time,” UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez noted.

In the third week of May, the UNICEF supported the provision of emergency cash transfers to 1,000 families in Lanao del Sur with 0-2 year- old children that were excluded from the 4Ps and the Social Amelioration Program of the Ministry of Social Services and Development.

“UNICEF aims to provide critical support during the crucial first 1,000 days of a child’s life,” Gonzalez said.

FAO, in partnership with the MSSD, is set to conduct an emergency cash assistance initiative that will cover 1,800 indigent farming families in the Bangsamoro Region. This is complementary to the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

BARMM’s Executive Secretary Abdulraof A. Macacua and Assistant Executive Secretary Abdullah M. Cusain attended the said event together with FAO Country Representative ad interim Ms. Xiangjun Yao, Country Representative of UNICEF Ms. Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoror, as well as officials and representatives of several BARMM ministries. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL 

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