Addis Ababa — The implementation of social protection programs in Ethiopia plays vital role to sustaining peace and stability as well as consolidating national unity in the country, World Bank Country Director in Ethiopia, Ousmane Dione said.
The Country Director made the remark today during the opening of the two-day high-level national social protection conference organized in Addis Ababa under the theme "Social Protection for National Building in Ethiopia."
Speaking at the conference, Dione said that the role of social protection in building resilience and social cohesion is of significance for Ethiopia.
According to him, social protection can contribute to sustaining peace and stability and consolidating national unity, which is utmost important for Ethiopia to stand with the task we have for post conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction ahead of us.
Noting social protection should be a priority for nation building he said, adding as it establishes a direct connection between individual and governments to enhancing social contracts.
Moreover, he elaborated that social protection can contribute to peace-building in post conflict societies by strengthening social cohesion, defusing tension and grievances, and helping prevent social unrest and conflicts.
He described that studies that have examined the relationship between social transfer and civil unrest have shown how redistributive social protection transfer, represent an effective cost efficient method in reducing civil unrest and maintaining stability.
Social Protection is a vehicle to respond to additional vulnerabilities and poverty created by conflict, stressing conflicts have resulted in significant socio economic challenges to millions of Ethiopians.
"This means that the number of people that require Social Protection Services has gone up significantly in recent years, with some adaptation, existing social protection schemes have the potential to address conflict and risk vulnerability, food insecurity and loss of livelihoods," he added.
Hence he said "it is important to build back better by investing in adaptive and resilient social protection system first to fit post conflict setting."
The government of Ethiopia has initiated and is implementing different flagship programs in collaboration with development partners, including the World Bank.
UNICEF Country Representative, Aboubacar Kampo said on his part applauded the government of Ethiopia for its dedication to providing a social protection system to protect the poor and vulnerable.
Social protections through innovative approaches and partnerships, not only plays key role in addressing vulnerabilities, it also can empower communities and individuals to invest in local solutions, he stated.
The representative encouraged all to continue strengthening all elements of the social protection systems to enable job creation, productivity and overall growth and development.
He reaffirmed that UNICEF is committed to supporting the government to help boost communities economically and the nations at large.
The two day conference aims at enhancing awareness about the role of social protection in contributing to sustainable development, social cohesion and nation building.