Social Protection

ILO and Finland agree to develop Social Protection in Zambia

The International Labour Organization and the Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed an agreement to develop the Social Protection for Informal and Rural Economy Workers Sub-Project in Zambia (SPIREWORK).

News | Lusaka | 17 November 2017
The ILO and the Government of Finland have agreed to invest in Social Protect for Informal and Rural Economy Workers Sub-Project in Zambia (SPIREWORK Zambia -Finland).

Speaking at the signing ceremony on 17th November, 2017, ILO Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Mr. Alexio Musindo said, the agreement builds on the main MOU signed earlier in the year between the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), ILO and National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) of Finland focusing on the extension of social protection coverage to the informal and rural economy workers.

He further explained that this agreement will be done by the continuous provision of the ILO’s Technical Assistance to support the implementation of the main Project.

The agreement attests the cordial relationship that continues to exist between the ILO and the Government of Finland represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also marks another key milestone in an effort to contribute to building integrated and comprehensive social protection system that ensures provision of social protection to all.

Mr Musindo further said the agreement will span an implementation period of nearly 2.5 years and as ILO “We are looking forward to seeing that our collective work on extending social protection coverage will make significant strides in contributing towards the achievement of a number of Sustainable Development Goals including (SDG) 1 on Poverty Reduction, SDG 3 aiming at ensuring “healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, SDG 5 on “Achieving gender equality” and SDG 8 on “Promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.

He also said that through this partnership ‘we are carrying forward work initiated in Zambia through the Green Jobs Programme, particularly on promoting OSH and social protection in the informal economy” Mr. Musindo emphasized.

Ambassador of Finland, Mr.Timo Olkkonen stated that the SPIREWORK-ILO project on Social Protection for Informal and Rural Economy Workers, indicated the commitment of the Government of Finland and its partners in promoting social protection for all in Zambia.

“SPIREWORK complements our support to the Social Cash Transfer scheme, which is a non-contributory component of social protection” he said.

Ambassador Olkkonen also mentioned that Finland was one of the four country partners involved in support for the GRZ-UN Joint Programme on Social Protection, which runs until the end of next year. He expressed happiness with ILO’s abundant knowledge of social protection systems and the meaningful contributions to the sector and the support to the Social Protection Bill.

The SPIREWORK project is energized by the National Social Protection Policy launched in 2014 and will be a component of the ongoing social security reform.