The European Union and ILO joins forces to promote social protection systems in Sudan

Article | 09 November 2020
The European Union has joined forces with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement a project focusing on social protection systems in Sudan. The bilateral financial cooperation agreement was signed virtually by Alexio Musindo, the Director of the ILO Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Special Representative to the African Union and the East African Community, and Robert van den Dool, the EU Ambassador in Sudan,.

The 30-month project responds to the priorities of the new civilian-led Government of Sudan in establishing a robust social protection system to achieve enhanced policy dialogue and coordination across the development-humanitarian nexus. The project is based on different social protection approaches as well as strengthened institutional capacity and operational systems of the country’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MoLSD) and other stakeholders, including workers’ and employers’ organizations specializing in the field.

The project will contribute to the progressive achievement of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including social protection floors, and by 2030 aims to offer substantial coverage to the poor through, in particular, fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and greater equality.

In addition, the project aims to mitigate the protracted crises on vulnerable households in Sudan, particularly in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and to reduce poverty and inequality by extending social protection coverage in Sudan. This will be achieved through the development of an evidence-based national dialogue on social protection led by MoLSD, enhancing social protection policy responses across the development-humanitarian nexus, and combining sustainable short-term and longer-term social protection approaches.

The national dialogue will also create an opportunity to bring together key ministries involved in social protection and policy reforms, including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), workers’ and employers’ organizations, NGOs, academics, sister UN agencies working on social protection such as UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and regional institutions.

According to ILO research, only 27 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack of any coverage at all. The ILO actively promotes policies and provides assistance to countries to help extend adequate levels of social protection to all members of society. Social security involves access to health care and income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a main income earner.

The EU-ILO partnership in Sudan is expected to support social protection development in the country under the transition government with the ultimate objective of extending social protection coverage and reducing the risks of impoverishment.