The National Committee on Social Protection held its 4th meeting at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Vice President U Myint Swe, in his capacity as the chairman of the committee, delivered a speech at the meeting.
At the meeting, the Vice-President explained that the social protection works can help poverty alleviation and human resources development and that the National Committee on Social Protection was formed with 12 members on 17 May 2018. In furthering the objectives of the national committee, smaller sub-committees have been formed such as working committee, technical support committee, monitoring and evaluation committee as well as task forces as needed by the nature of the work.
He added that more efforts were still needed in social protection works while some progress had been made between the third and fourth meetings and some changes had to be made in the cash assistance programmes due to the unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New plans of the ‘Financial Support Programmes for Social Protection’ is a component of the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan, and the Ngwe Bite mobile application was also developed to provide cash assistance to pregnant women to overcome restrictions in social distancing.
He also highlighted the importance of social protection works during the COVID-19 crisis and the needs to modify existing action plans and programmes by learning from recent experiences in order to respond to future pandemics.
The Vice-President also discussed the development of the SMIS – Social Management Information System by the Department of Social Welfare and cooperation in implementing and maintaining the system.
He continued to talk about the cash assistance programme for pregnant women and their children under 2-years of age, which was carried out by the World Bank loan and Union government funds in Ayeyawady Region and Shan State in 2019-2020 FY, and the electronic cash transfer system in Ayeyawady Region, Shan State and Rakhine State.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is also drafting a strategy on the long-term availability of funding for social protection works and the social assistance law.
The Vice-President also called for the cooperation of relevant ministries and partner organizations in fundraising for social protection works.
Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye, the Vice-Chairman (1) of the committee, discussed the progress of the Social Management Information System, the Myanmar Social Assistance Law (draft), the Social Pension Programme, cash assistance to pregnant women and their children, the implementation of CERP, fundraising and human resource development programmes.
Senior officials from the ministry also reported on the implementation of decisions made in previous meetings. Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe, Vice-Chairman (2) of the committee, discussed social welfare programmes, insurance for unemployment benefits and assistance to Myanmar migrant workers.
Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe explained the works of his ministry in social protection.
The members of committee also reported on the social protection works of relevant departments.
Finally, the Vice-President called for implementing the 11 tasks of the committee after which the meeting was concluded.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)