Protección Social

Kenya is hosting 35 countries to address food security and end poverty through social protection


27 June 2022, Nairobi – FAO brought together FAO Social Protection Focal Points from 35 countries in Africa, including social protection specialists from the FAO Regional Office and Headquarters for a Regional Training, Strategic Planning, Knowledge and Experience Sharing on Social Protection.

The workshop held from 27 to 29 June 2022, in Nairobi and aims to increase awareness on regional priorities and initiatives on social protection, share country experiences and best practices as well as key knowledge of FAO products/tools on social protection and others that could guide and strengthen social protection work at country and regional levels.

In several African countries, the populations are facing vulnerabilities due to climate and man made disasters, health epidemics, food insecurity and conflicts. Coverage of poor and vulnerable population by existing social protection systems especially those in the rural areas remains low and with gaps in the system unable to respond adequately to economic downturns and unprecedented covariate shocks. However, evidence shows that adequate social protection promotes inclusive growth and increases productivity and employability. Social protection is becoming increasingly prominent in national-long-term development strategies. FAO has a key role to play in linking social protection to agriculture and livelihoods by strengthening capacities in order to support Governments and other stakeholders to better respond to the needs and challenges of establishing inclusive and sustainable social protection systems that synergize with rural development policies and initiatives, and are shock responsive.

This three-day meeting is an opportunity for FAO to increase awareness and understanding of Social Protection Corporate Strategic Direction and Initiatives as well as Regional thematic priorities and develop a Regional Action Plan and key result areas on social protection for 2022-23. During the opening ceremony of the meeting, the social protection Programme Lead for Africa, Ms. Bintia Stephen-Tchicacya affirmed that “through this meeting, FAO intends to equip the social protection focal persons in their respective countries to support FAO’s work with the member States to increase their understanding of specific vulnerabilities of different categories of rural populations, the barriers they face in accessing social protection”.

Ms. Carla Mucavi, FAO Representative in Kenya stated that “FAO in Kenya has collaborated with the Government on several programmes/interventions related to the extension of social protection for increased economic inclusion for the most poor and vulnerable households in the rural economy. As a member of the National Social Protection Secretariat and Child and Social Protection Committee (under UNDAF), FAO continues to support government efforts to enhance coordination mechanisms to achieve the objectives of the framework”. The Regional Programme Leader in Regional Office for Africa, Mr. Freeman Ade expressed the wish that “ the outcomes of this meeting would reflect FAO’s desire of deepening its work on social protection as One FAO. Expanding social protection instrument is an extensive part of protecting livelihoods and households’ security and nutrition”.

Representing the Permanent Secretary of State Department for Social Protection, Senior Citizenship Affairs, and Special Programmes of Kenya, Ms. Jane Muyanga thanked FAO and partners for the continued support and affirmed that this training will help to optimize regional and national social protection systems and tools and learn from Kenyan experience in social protection and shared some key achievements: She mentioned that FAO plays a curcial role in social protection sector. “Food Security remains a challenge to many of our vulnerable groups. It is my hope, that apart from ensuring that households have food security, it is critical for beneficiaries to be enlighted on their nutritional status and especially that of children.” Further, she mentioned that FAO’s involvement in Food Security will therefore complement social protection interventions and contribute to Sustainable Development Goal no. 2 – Zero Hunger.