Sweden provides $9.2 mln to UNICEF Ethiopia to build integrated safety net system in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, October 12, 2017 (FBC) - The government of Sweden provided 9.2 million US dollars to UNICEF Ethiopia to support a national integrated safety net system for vulnerable women and children in both rural and urban parts of the country.

The initial phase will provide direct cash support to 1,000 households in Amhara region and 1,000 households in Addis Ababa with the objective to scale up innovations for the 8 million Rural Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) beneficiaries and the envisaged 4.7 million urban poor who are going to benefit from the Urban PSNP.

The programme will be implemented from 2017 to 2022, according to UNICEF Ethiopia.

The objective of the programme is to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures which ensure increased access to a comprehensive package of social protection interventions and services to poor citizens coping with social and economic risks.

It also aims to strengthen the government’s capacity to develop, implement, coordinate and monitor a national, child-sensitive social protection system in the country.

At the signing ceremony, Mr Torbjörn Petterson, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia said, “In spite of existing challenges, it is impressive to see strong government commitment, financially as well as technically, to support the PSNP.

Partnering with UNICEF in this particular endeavour, gives us leverage in terms of significant experience with previously supported pilot programmes which helped inform the design of PSNP 4.”

The first joint pilot project supported by UNICEF in Tigray, which MoLSA implemented between 2012-2015 together with the Tigray bureau of labour and social affairs (BoLSA), was guided by a rigorous evidence generation plan and demonstrated the role of community care structures and social workers.

As a result, community care structures and social workers have since become crucial components of the national social protection system – a major milestone towards establishing a countrywide social welfare workforce.

“This timely contribution from SIDA will allow us to build on the rich experience of these successful pilot interventions. We are also expanding existing multi-sectoral linkages and will explore synergies between different public social protection measures, for example between PSNP and Community Based Health Insurance,” said Ms Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia.

“We embrace this partnership with great enthusiasm since the outcome of the programme will extend beyond the pilot regions and further assist the government of Ethiopia and UNICEF to develop a nationwide social protection system that is child sensitive and which prioritizes the most vulnerable and marginalized.”

Posted by Amare Asrat