Partnering for the Social Protection of all in Belize
26 May 2023
UNICEF joined the Ministry of Human Development, Families & Indigenous Peoples' Affairs to host a three-day Social Policy Conference.
BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, 26 APRIL 2023 — The Government of Belize, together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) co-hosted a three-day event on Partnering for the Social Protection of All in Belize, culminating in a validation Conference on April 20th. This event is part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Joint Programme, which supports a resilient Belize through universal, adaptive and sustainable social protection.
The Joint Programme prioritizes key outcomes outlined in the Government’s Medium-Term Development Strategy 2022-2026, including Poverty reduction and Economic Transformation, as reminded by Dr. Marcelino Avila, Senior Policy Advisor to the Office of Prime Minister. The Joint Programme is expected to contribute to key social and economic outcomes and targets, including increased investments in basic social services, reduction in unemployment and poverty levels, among others.
This three-day forum is a major milestone for the Government of Belize as it marks the start of a national dialogue on the vision of social protection for all Belizeans. This dialogue will inform the development of the national Social Protection Strategy, inclusive of the Social Protection Floor, defining the minimum guarantees for all and along the life cycle, including children, working age population and elderly.
The event brought together nearly a hundred national practitioners and policy makers of the social protection system from the Government, public agencies, civil society; and international experts from UN agencies to learn, exchange and reflect on the state and future of social protection in Belize. Key pillars of the social protection system for Belize were discussed, including social budgeting and fiscal space, shock-responsiveness, and coordination mechanisms. The main messages and recommendations on the way-forward were delivered at the high-level validation conference.
Almost three out of four children worldwide are not covered by any form of social protection, leaving them vulnerable to economic hardship and social exclusion. UNICEF works with the Government to develop programmes that helps families recover from shocks of poverty, violence and vulnerability.