State Administration Council Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses National Committee on Social Protection 1/2021 meeting

The National Committee on Social Protection held its 1/2021 meeting yesterday. During the meeting, Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, in his capacity as the chairman of the national committee, said the meeting is the very first one after reconstituting the National Committee on Social Protection. Social protection is an important activity for poverty alleviation and the development of human capital which is essential for the development of the country.
The “National Committee on Social Protection” was reorganized with 12 members under the SAC Notification No 14/2021 to implement the action plan of Myanmar National Social Protection Strategic Plan and social protection activities effectively.
He also added that the Union minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement leads the “Working Committee” as a chairperson to perform duties more effectively.
If it reviews the implementation of the Myanmar National Social Protection Strategic Plan issued in 2014, it shows signs of progress and there are remaining matters to be done better. The implementation of social protection funding programmes has been changed especially during the outbreak of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
During the outbreak of the pandemic, the key role of social protection activities become more significant and the committee should draw a lesson based on the pandemic and prepare further plans to undertake proper emergency responses if the world faces such a pandemic in the future.
Currently, the Social Welfare Department develops a Social Management Information System (SMIS) and such doing is an improvement in implementing social protection procedures. The departments concerned should cooperate to effectively use the SMIS if it completes.
Moreover, the Electronic Cash Transfer will be used in providing cash assistance and it will be used as a pilot project in Ayeyawady Region and Shan State.
It is important to understand that there are success and development as well as difficulties and challenges in the field of social protection, especially during the COVID-19 period, there are certain restrictions in conducting a ground survey, changes of plans and other COVID-19 related challenges.
Moreover, the access to long-term funding for the ongoing “cash assistance” and “social protection activities to be extended” could be a challenge, and so “a long-term funding strategy” must be drafted. The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement starts drafting the strategic plan.
It is more important to have legal backing for the sustainability of funding programmes for social protection. Therefore, the MoSWRR, which serves the main role, should draft the social assistance law (draft) in this financial year.
The social protection activities also play a key role in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) and they are such a practical plan for the commitment between the government and its citizens as the government is responsible to resolve the socio-economic challenges of the people.
He then highlighted the words of stone inscription by King Kyansittha at Shwezigon Pagoda “with the left hand, the king shall bring clothing while with the right he shall give rice and food like a mother care for her child so the king shall look after the people” as a guide for the social protection programmes of Myanmar nowadays.
He continued that, therefore, the “social protection activities” are the priorities of the country and that directly benefits the people, and so the ministries concerned and partner organizations should work together closely for effective implementation, cooperation and fundraising programmes.
Then, Union minister Dr Thet Thet Khine of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement reported on the current undertaking of social protection work plans.
The Union ministers, Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman, States/Region chief ministers , deputy minister and other departmental heads clarified ongoing work plans, including future actions to be extended.
The deputy minister also reported on the drafted decisions made at National Committee on Social Protection 1/2021 meeting and the Chairman of the national committee SAC Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister coordinated the discussion.— MNA

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