Credits The Minister of Social Affairs chairing the program steering committee
Published on April 7, 2020

Social Affairs: A Program to Improve the Social Protection of Indigenous People in Congo

Original article posted in French on Agence D'Information D'Afrique Centrale here

The joint programme - Government and the United Nations system in Congo, aims at ensuring access in basic social services to indigenous populations. Focused on the Department of Lékoumou, it will be launched on the 24th of the current month (February 2020) in Sibiti.

Indigenous people face difficulties in accessing basic social services, including education, health, welfare, income-generating activities to fight poverty, said the Minister of Social Affairs and 'Humanitarian action, Antoinette Dinga-Dzondo, during the presentation of the joint programme on improving access to social protection, on February 19 in Brazzaville. 65% of indigenous children do not go to school, the death rate is 250/00, 40% of indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition, more than 50% of them do not have birth certificates. "We need to do the job right and deliver the expected results within six months of the program" said the minister who chairs the steering committee for the program.

On the ground, it will therefore be a question of improving these indicators by strengthening the capacities of the social protection services of these often marginalized populations, of reforming the supply and generating a demand for quality and universal basic social services, of ensuring their access to land for agricultural activities, to communicate for behavior change. The envelope devoted to the realization of this program is estimated at more than one billion FCFA, said the representative of the World Food Program in Congo, Jean-Martin Bauer, on behalf of the agencies of the United Nations system responsible for managing the funds.

The UN diplomat also clarified the choice of the department of Lékoumou while Likouala has the highest number of indigenous populations. "The provider of the funds demanded the results within six months. However, the access conditions in the Likouala department should logistically take longer. Also, the Lékoumou department already benefits from a project called '' integrated child protection system '' set up by UNICEF. This project therefore constitutes the foundation for building this program ”, he explained. 

The idea in this sense is to start from the needs of the child to tackle social protection issues in general. The opportunity should therefore not be missed, because out of more than seventy-five countries having submitted requests, the Congo was selected after several selection phases.