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EC and UNICEF to support the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children

European Commission in BiH and UNICEF signed the agreement on financial support for the project “Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina - SPIS” on 18. December 2008. This represents a contribution towards a three-year, multi-donor programme supporting the country’s pre-accession efforts in the field of social protection, social inclusion and child rights. European Union has committed approximately 1.3 million EUR for this project. The other donors supporting the Project are the Government of United Kingdom – Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Norway. 

UNICEF’s primary partners in this project are the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and the Directorate for Economic Planning at the state level and  Entity and Cantonal ministries responsible for social protection, health, education and human/child rights. The project was developed over the last year in full consultation with a wide range of UNICEF’s national and local partners and drawing on 15 years’ of UNICEF experience working with socially excluded children in this country.

This Project aims to build national capacities to strengthen multi-sectoral approaches to the protection and inclusion of children.  An integrated and inter-sectoral approach to evidence-based policy development, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation will serve to define and strengthen functions, roles and strategic goals in education, health, social welfare and other related sectors as they address  specific forms of exclusion of children and families.

UNICEF defines “Social protection” as the sub-set of public actions – carried out by the state or privately – that address risk, vulnerability and chronic poverty.  Social inclusion is a process that ensures that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life and enjoy a standard of well-being that is considered normal in the society in which they life. 

As a pre-accession country, Bosnia and Herzegovina will need to strengthen its strategic approach to promoting social inclusion so that all citizens are able to to enjoy the benefits of economic growth.  This project will contribute to the government’s efforts as it relates to enhancing the social inclusion of children. 



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