Joint SDG Fund JP advocates for inclusive and integrated Social Protection Reform to reach every child, mother, elderly and worker with quality package
The year 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. The pandemic left a clear footprint on communities both socially and economically. However, COVID-19 had deeper, larger, and disproportionate impact on people in vulnerable groups including those in poor or near-poor groups, informal workers, children, persons with disabilities and older persons in Viet Nam. They have lost incomes, access to education, access to social services as well as adequate social care and protection. To support the vulnerable, the Government of Viet Nam rapidly set up social protection package and disbursed nationwide to lift some of the burdens off. However, gaps still remain mainly due to the structure and narrow criteria of social protection system in Viet Nam.
In Viet Nam, 70% of women and informal workers have no access to cash assistance. Among 11 million elderly people, more than 65% has no access to pension. There are 20 million children without social care support. Among 6.2 million people living with severe disabilities, only 1.2 million are receiving social assistance accounting for around 20% of total persons living with disabilities. The pandemic only further revealed the needs for quality expansion and change in the social protection system for Viet Nam and its people.
Launched in 2020, the UN Joint Programme, Accelerating Viet Nam’s Transition towards Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection is bringing in multi-tier system with life-cycle approach for Viet Nam’s reform on social protection system to advocate for expansion of the social protection coverage in integrated and inclusive manner with minimum burden to the fiscal capacity for the state budget.
The Joint Programme in Viet Nam is implemented by ILO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF (with coordination support from RCO) together with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and other national bodies such as Vietnam Social Security (VSS), Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) as well as grassroots and local-level organizations. At the donor event organized by the United Nations in Viet Nam on 27 November 2020, Kamal Malhotra, the UN Resident Coordinator said, “Let me assure you that UN agencies are jointly implementing a programme that advocates for the quality expansion of social protection coverage so that every child, every mother, every elderly person and every worker can benefit.”
“Let me assure you that UN agencies are jointly implementing a programme that advocates for the quality expansion of social protection coverage so that every child, every mother, every elderly person and every worker can benefit.”
The event presented the outcomes, challenges as well as way forward for 2021 in order to advocate for meaningful results and systemic change in Viet Nam’s social protection system. “The UN Joint Programme activities has been repurposed towards accelerating its transformation towards a more shock-responsive system by explicitly incorporating shock considerations in its design and implementation that will allow to protect affected people in the COVID-19 and future crises,” said Chang-Hee Lee, Country Director of ILO during his presentation.
This UN Joint Programme is funded by the Joint SDG Fund, a pooled fund by United Nations targeted at SDG acceleration through commitments from Member States, private sector, etc. At the Joint SDG Fund Donor Event in Viet Nam, representatives from Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden the Netherlands, and European Union raised comments and shared aspirations to advocate for social protection for the people of Viet Nam through joint commitments and stronger partnerships. “The results we have achieved so far must be built on not only in 2021, but well beyond that time, and we need to redouble our efforts with more ambitious goals and commitments to accelerate SDG achievements as we recover from COVID-19,” added the UN Resident Coordinator. Government representatives at the Donor Event also shared their appreciation of the UN Joint Programme on Social Protection and wanted to scale up with further interventions in the areas of social insurance to ensure increased coverage to vulnerable groups.
- RC’s speech: https://vietnam.un.org/en/102698-un-global-joint-sdg-fund-donors-meeting-united-nations-joint-programme-accelerating-viet
- Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unvietnam/albums/72157717058554983
- Social Protection in Viet Nam in COVID-19 times (video): https://youtu.be/cyqDy_31xVo