Credits Indigenous Bakoya Pygmies play music during a welcome ceremony. UN Photo | Gill Fickling
Published on December 24, 2020

Update: Citizenship and Social Protection in Gabon

Gabon’s Joint Programme (JP) for Integrated Social Protection has been framed to ensure that the national social protection system leaves no one behind, and that future generations can benefit seamlessly from basic social services. Targeted legal reform, enhanced outreach and awareness-building, accelerated and sustained birth registration, and longer-term accompaniment are all being pursued with this objective in mind.


The JP has made significant progress over the first nine months, leveraging an inter-governmental collaboration to build a stronger alliance for birth registration and access to social protection moving forward, and maintaining a dialogue with public officials to amend provisions on the legal timeframe for birth registration. Moreover, the JP has furthered public engagement activities were conducted with local leaders and municipal authorities to design strategies and options for hard-to-reach indigenous areas. Finally, the JP strengthened capacities to enable decentralized JP implementation, including in the province of Ogooué-Ivindo, where a steering committee was formed to include administrative authorities, justice system experts, and social affairs and protection departments.


The Joint SDG Fund has authorized JPs to repurpose up to 20% of their budgets for COVID-related activities. In Gabon, the primary aim of the repurposing has been to stop the spread of the virus and limit its impact on the most vulnerable. In this context, JP outreach was extended to cover the Greater Libreville area, where more than 15,000 lack birth certificates and access to social protection. Personal protective equipment and infection prevention control services have been delivered to 4,500 hard-to-reach people (half of whom are indigenous). The JP also helped to ensure the continuity of access to critical services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.


Finally, over the first nine months, Gabon’s JP has progressed steadily towards ensuring that the national social protection system is inclusive of hard-to-reach populations, and that future generations will enjoy access to basic social services.