Madam Wakana was speaking last Tuesday during the opening of a two-day National Social Protection Forum 2021 held at the Sir Dawda Conference Center in Kololi when she made these remarks.
She added that the United Nations will support in the strengthening of the national ownership of the school feeding programme and also ensure the existence of a functional National Social Registry as well as promote shock responsive social protection and humanitarian assistance during shocks.
The forum was organised by the National Social Protection Secretariat (NSPS), under the Office of the Vice President in partnership with UNICEF and World Food Programme.
This year’s forum held under the theme: Social Protection: A Mechanism for Inclusive Development had a convergence of different sectors and ministries of the Gambia government.
The aim of the 2021 national forum was to facilitate the exchange of national and regional experiences to learn from good practices, innovative approaches, and lessons learned, and identify common challenges and explore effective policies for building and strengthening nationally appropriate social protection system.
She further said that UN attaches significant importance to social protection and as such, has dedicated outcome 2.4 of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework to social protection.
The UN Country rep expressed happiness at the convergence and said UN continues to work closely with the government of The Gambia and all stakeholders in ensuring that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a platform for future development alongside the NDP, the National Social Protection Policy and the UN Development Assistance Framework.
“We only have less than 10 years left to measure our achievement towards the Global Goals by the 2030 deadline and time is of the essence. The United Nations remains committed to support the government and the people of The Gambia in their efforts to transform The Gambia to a state that provides robust social protection services to her populations.
Lamin Sanneh, Governor of West Coast Region said since the establishment of the NSPS unit under the Office of the Vice President, a lot of support has been rendered to communities in The Gambia, thus improving the lives and livelihood of citizens especially women and children.
He added that during the outbreak of coronavirus in The Gambia, a lot of support was given to people through social protection schemes.
“Some food stuffs were distributed across the country alongside quarterly cash transfers to support vulnerable families. We are really grateful to the government of The Gambia and her partners such as UNICEF, World Food Progamme and others.”