UN, BARMM reinforce social protection in Bangsamoro

Published October 14, 2021, 10:26 AM

by Philippine News Agency

A social protection program being implemented by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has gone beyond cash aid distribution and is set to strengthen social protection in the region by providing technical support to the development of a system for identifying the most vulnerable and at-risk population.

The Joint Programme on Shock-Responsive Social Protection (JPSRSP) builds on social protection programs implemented by the BARMM to ease 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 human-induced disasters, that perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

“These systems should be in place not just during a pandemic but because of Mindanao’s vulnerability to adverse impacts of natural hazards and even human-induced incidents. We have to be prepared and to make sure that our people are protected at all times,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said in a news release on Wednesday.

“This is the essence of a ‘risk-informed shock responsive social protection system’ which the BARMM is reinforcing in partnership with UN agencies,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.

The JPSRSP focuses on three key interventions, which include mainstreaming risk-informed shock responsive social protection in the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BRDP); building capacity of BARMM institutions to analyze and monitor both natural and human-induced risks and improve synergy; and improving the poverty registry system to include risk and hazard vulnerability assessments, predictive analytics, inclusive targeting and effective monitoring.”

One year since it started, the JP worked with the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) which was then starting to lay down the design of its own poverty and disaster registry.

MSSD is designing the registry to provide more comprehensive information about the situation of households and considers the context of the BARMM region. UNICEF provided technical support on the poverty registry instruments and management information systems.