Muriel Mafico, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean-Barbados.
ANGUILLA–The Ministry of Health and Social Development unveiled its comprehensive Social Protection Policy, Action Plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework at the Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre Conference Room, on Wednesday, February 27.
Led by Permanent Secretary of Social Development, Bonnie Richardson-Lake, the programme included remarks from representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF-Eastern Caribbean, who provided financial and technical support, as well as local agency and governmental stakeholders key to the plan’s successful operationalisation.
The plan, which supports Anguilla’s progress towards its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), covers short-, medium- and long-term planning priorities and outcome goals designed to deliver social protection services to the island’s vulnerable population sectors in a fair and just manner.
Richardson-Lake introduced Muriel Mafico, UNICEF’s representative for the Eastern Caribbean, saying, “We are grateful for the support and assistance received from UNICEF in developing this plan.” Globally UNICEF is involved in working with countries to support the development of social protection policies across the globe to advocate for child- and gender-sensitive policies. Research demonstrates that children are disproportionately affected by poverty.
In her remarks, Mafico said, “Today we are here to mark milestones which include the development of Anguilla’s National Social Protection Policy which already has an action plan and a monetary plan. I congratulate all for a job well done because in all my policy work over 20-plus years, I have not seen policy development consultation that started in May of the previous year launched in February of the present year. This is a first. It is also a first to see a policy plan already accompanied by an action and monetary plan. This is a remarkable achievement.
Anguilla is setting a tone, a pace and a challenge for the region for speedy policy development in terms of a quantitative process that involves multiple stakeholders. The lessons that we are drawing from Anguilla are critical lessons beyond the shores of this island. Good policy is a product of consultation, is aligned to national development plans, has strong and committed leadership and is anchored in strong, multi-sectoral coordination.” She ended by saying that the social protection policy being launched in Anguilla embodies all these qualities.