The Acting Director General of Community Development and Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government, Vedaste Hakizimana, has said that the government is committed to social protection of its people.
He made the remarks yesterday while officiating at the first national consultative forum of the Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) of Rwanda on social protection strategy.
The two-day meeting that brought together members of the CSO the Africa Platform for social Protection, the African Union (AU) Commission is aimed at stimulating discussions that will seek ways on how CSO’s can support the implementation of the AU Social policy Framework which will lead to socio-economic development for the people.
“Social Protection in Rwanda has made significant progress and we are confident that we will build on the progress already made towards sustainable development,” he said.
He stressed that there has been significant budget allocation and spending towards the social protection sector through various programs that deliver social protection such as UBUDEHE, VUP, ONE COW PER POOR FAMILY; MUTUELLE DE SANTE, EDUCATION SUPPORT, and other pro-poor programs.
“Policy dialogue with our partners has improved, more people are being covered or reached by social protection and their incomes are rising,” he said.
The Government of Rwanda is committed to working closely with NGO’s and CSO’s as partners basing on mutual trust and respect.
He explained that the role of CSO’s and NGO’s has been very instrumental in the delivering and advocating for social protection to the extremely poor and vulnerable people.
According to Eugene Rwibasira, the Spokesperson of Rwanda Civil Society Platform, despite efforts by donors and the good policies developed by the government, there are still some challenges in the social protection strategy.
“Inequality among the people, high poverty levels, and vulnerability still persists in the community,” he said.
He added that there is a need for a strong partnership, especially with NGO’s and the civil society.
Dr. Joseph Foumbi, UNICEF’s Country Representative, commended the government and the President in particular, for putting in place foundations for one of the most comprehensive social protection schemes in Africa.