An NGO, Action Against Hunger (ACF), has called on the Federal and State governments to increase investment in social protection to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ACF’s Social Protection Manager, Pontso Tsoenyane, stated this in Kano on Tuesday at the ongoing three-day training on Social Protection Budget and Expenditure Tracking for CSOs and media.
The training was organised by Save the Children International and ACF under the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO)-funded Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP), being implemented in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara states.
Tsoenyane said that social protection consists of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to manage economic and social risks.
She said that social protection through its social assistance and cash transfers protect consumption levels of those living in extreme poverty.
Tsoenyane added that social protection programmes such as medical fee waivers and health insurance equally provide basic medical care to people.
She equally said that social protection programmes were designed to consider women’s contribution to economic development by seeking to redress gender inequality by empowering women through cash and voice.
According to her, social protection was an integral component of development and social policy, making it a critical factor in achieving SDGs.
“Tackling poverty and inequality through social protection intervention will address SDGs 1 and 10 while strengthening food security and improved health and cognitive development will address goals 2,3 and 9.
“Social protection also increases access to quality education and promotes gender equality which will address goals 4 and 5.
“It also enables better household-level environmental management and strengthens social inclusion and cohesion which address goals 6, 13, 11, and 16.
“Social protection fosters inclusive growth, decent work and more productive employment and improves macroeconomic resilience in line with SDGs 8 and 12,” she added.
Tsoenyane added that social protection also strengthens opportunities for development partnerships in line with goal 17.
According to her, achieving the SDGs required the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society, and citizens to leave a better planet for future generations.
She called on civil society organisations and the media to play a critical role of community sensitisation and mobilisation on the vital role of social protection policies and programming in achieving SDGs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants were drawn from CSOs and media organisations of the various social p
rotection platforms in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara states.
The training was part of efforts to strengthen capacity of the CSOs and media to demand accountability from state actors. (NAN)