MANILA – A social protection program implemented by the Autonomous Region of Bangsamoro in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Fund for childhood (UNICEF), goes beyond the distribution of cash assistance and should strengthen social protection in the region by providing technical support to the development of a system for identifying the most vulnerable and at risk populations.
The Joint Crisis Responsive Social Protection Program (JPSRSP) builds on the social protection programs implemented by BARMM to reduce poverty in the region.
Launched in 2020, the JPSRSP addresses the risks and vulnerabilities that the Bangsamoro people, especially the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalized, face in times of natural and man-made disasters, which perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
âThese systems should be in place not only during a pandemic, but because of Mindanao’s vulnerability to the adverse effects of natural hazards and even man-made incidents. We need to be prepared and make sure our people are protected at all times, âBARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said in a press release on Wednesday.
“This is the essence of a ‘shock-responsive, risk-aware social protection system’ that BARMM is strengthening in partnership with United Nations agencies,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator. (UN) in the Philippines.
âThe JPSRSP improves BARMM’s existing social protection systems to better target and provide assistance before and immediately after a crisis turns into a real disaster,â he added.
The JPSRSP focuses on three key interventions, which include integrating risk-informed crisis-responsive social protection into the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BRDP); capacity building of BARMM institutions to analyze and monitor natural and human-induced risks and improve synergy; and improve the poverty recording system to include risk and hazard vulnerability assessments, predictive analytics, inclusive targeting and effective monitoring. “
A year after its creation, the JP worked with the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) which then began to define the design of its own register of poverty and disasters.
MSSD is in the process of designing the register to provide more comprehensive information on the household situation and considers the context of the BARMM region. UNICEF provided technical support on poverty register instruments and management information systems.
Vulnerability Risk Assessment and Mapping (VRAM) is underway to map the vulnerabilities of BARMM communities and identify the types of risks and how these risks affect the well-being of the marginalized population and their livelihoods.
FAO, in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Local Government (MILG) and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), will survey 1,680 households across the BARMM, including special geographic areas.
The superposition of this information allows BARMM to design social protection that takes into account the risks and reactive to crises, well targeted and adapted to the different contexts of the region.
In addition, in collaboration with the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA), FAO reviewed the Bangsamoro Investment Development Plan to provide a training platform for key ministries in the development and implementation. implementing relevant policies.
In addition, the JPSRSP complemented the government’s response to Covid-19 by providing emergency cash transfers to 1,800 poor families who were excluded from the Social Improvement Program (SAP) and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) program. .
The innovations of the joint program aroused the interest of development partners to extend and perpetuate its achievements.
The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), which channel humanitarian aid from the European Union (EU), have supported the Philippines social protection program, in particular through the development of the sheet roadmap on crisis-responsive social protection.
In BARMM, ECHO continues to work with the UN to increase capacity and scale of anticipatory action through social protection systems to protect development gains from shocks.
The Australian government is providing additional resources to scale up this joint program to develop and expand the work, in particular improving BARMM’s cash delivery systems, supporting relevant database management systems initiatives recipients of cash transfers and providing emergency cash transfers.
Scaling up also allows for greater engagement in other forms of social protection, beyond cash transfers, which are compatible with BARMM’s social protection landscape, such as agriculture and asset insurance.
âThe Australian government is pleased to support a scaling up of the Joint United Nations Program in BARMM as it contributes to a more equal and inclusive economy and society. This is a key objective of the Australian Partnership for Recovery in the Philippines, including under BARMM, âsaid Thanh Le PSM, Development Advisor at the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.
âIt is important to note that the Joint United Nations Program will help build long-term resilience by bringing together development partners and the BARMM government to strengthen risk-informed and shock-responsive systems that respond to challenges and unique needs, âhe added.
With mechanisms and policies in place that support social protection, Gonzales believes that BARMM will be able to implement at least two crisis-responsive social protection programs next year that will be able to cover 63% of its total population, as well as 26,000 combatants. .
JPSRSP is supported by the Joint SDG Fund, a United Nations multi-partner trust fund. This means that the contributions it receives are not specific to an entity but aim to support broader functions at the level of the United Nations system.
This type of pooled funding used by multi-partner trust funds, such as the Common Fund for the SDGs, is widely seen as âpro-multilateralismâ – and is much more suited to the large-scale integrated support essential to achieving the SDGs.
The flexibility of the Common Fund for the SDGs in reallocating funds has also proved essential for rapid responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through the SDG Common Fund, the JPSRSP is supported by a number of countries namely Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal , Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the European Union.