By: Kebba AF Touray
The Republic of the Gambia has affirmed its commitments to attaining an all-inclusive social protection system. The commitment has been manifested by the formulation of the National Social Protection Secretariat (NSPS).
The NSPS among other things is responsible for the coordination of all the activities especially in relation to activities that would bring about change in social protection issues in the Gambia, develop policies and strategic sustainable financing mechanism for the implementation of Social Protection programs.
On Thursday 17th December 2020, the Members of the National Protection Steering Committee held its Fourth Steering Committee Meeting, during which the officials reported the activities undertaken by the Secretariat, in its drive to improve social protection services in the country.
Mr. Alhagie Barra, National Coordinator, National Social Protection Secretariat (NSPS), called for concerted effort for the development and protection of vulnerable people, with a view to promoting social protection for the citizenry, especially the vulnerable people.
He stressed that the establishment of the NSPS, signifies the commitment to improving and strengthening of social protection leadership and coordination mechanism and that the roles of the secretariat include the implementation of the National Social Protection Strategy 2015-2025.
He added that the roles also include focus on addressing the gaps, by incorporating and aligning of more programs, to ensure effective service delivery on social protection, as well to provide guidelines, with a view to increase coordination of interventions, through the adoption of systematic and harmonized mechanisms that identify beneficiaries and exchange of information and monitor programs.
He said: “Strong leadership is a vital element of spearheading sustainable social protection. This committee is responsible for implementation of the national social protection strategy. In order to achieve the goals of the secretariat, the Office of the Vice President, was mandated to establish the National Social Protection Secretariat, to support the implementation of the goals of the secretariat”.
He emphasized: “NSPS look forward to concerted efforts to develop and protect the vulnerable and improve social protection of the citizenry especially the most vulnerable”.
Rohey Bittaye Darboe, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said that NSPS is the apex body that is responsible for all social protection interventions, and is mandated to mobilize resources and advise on social protection policy directives.
She explicated: “social protection is about having in place sets of policies and programs, that aim to support all the vulnerable families and the poor to become resilient to crises”.
Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray, said that the NSPS was established with the ultimate of coordinating social protection related programs and is anchored on improving and strengthening the coordination and implementation mechanisms of all social assistance, programs and also facilitates increase in coverage of social protection interventions in the country.
She said that a Social Registry has been established with the objective to facilitate and reinforce the identified coordination mechanism, to ensure inclusion into social protection initiatives, improvement of information system and provide better coordination and synergy of various sectorial interventions.