First Steering Committee Meeting of the Joint SDG Programme: "Extending Social Protection in Serbia through Enhanced Shock-Responsive Policy"
08 September 2022
Belgrade, 7 September 2022 – The United Nations in Serbia and the Government of Serbia held the first Steering Committee meeting of the Joint SDG Programme that focuses on catalysing a strengthened shock-responsive social protection system to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the consecutive crisis that hit the country – such as Covid and Ukraine crisis.
The members of the Steering Committee included representatives from the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Ministry of Public Administration and Local-Self Government, Ministry of Family Welfare and Demography, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Standing Conference of Town and Municipalities, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia and Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, UN Resident Coordinator, representatives from implementing UN Agencies- UNICEF as the led Agency, UNFPA, UNHCR and RCO.
The joint programme builds on the second priority of the UNSDCF 2021-2025 on social cohesion and related outcome on social protection, in line with SDGs and EU integration with the aim to (i) strengthen the data response on the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable groups to feed into the introduction of legislative changes for adaptive social protection system (ii) apply the shock-responsive social protection principles to provide support for 170 vulnerable families with children- focusing on single parent and women households and older people households, refugees- mostly hit by the crisis, in rural areas, through the provision of a temporary basis cash transfer programme. The total project value is $289.200, funded mainly by the UN Joint SDG Fund.
“This is a short time initiative, that will help to produce significant data that will be used to advocate for strengthened shock- sensitive social protection measures in the national social protection system in the country that is responsive to current and in cases of other future shocks. We already had multiple research and studies that had shown that targeted social response is more effective, for the budget and the people”, said the UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, Francoise Jacob, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee.
Jacob also added that the purpose of the meeting is to establish the Steering Committee that will provide oversight and guidance to the joint programme implementation and aim for solutions that are evidence-based and adapted to the population groups at heightened risk.
The Co-Chair from the Government, Advisor to the Prime Minister, Slavica Đukić Dejanović said: “One of the advantages of this program is the provision of new data and projections on the impact of crises on the most vulnerable groups of citizens, but also the provision of cash transfers to the most vulnerable families and elderly people. We must be aware of the fact that investing in sustainability reduces the costs of recovery and reconstruction in the event of natural or man-made disasters, and it supports strengthening of capacity and resources, people, assets and management systems, to be ready to face future challenges."