Regional forum aims to pave the way towards child-sensitive and adaptive social protection systems across East Asia and the Pacific

30 November 2023
Children collect water from an irrigation canal during the dry season
UNICEF/UN0740402/Ifansasti

BALI, Indonesia – 30 November 2023: The Regional Social Policy Forum, hosted by the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) of Indonesia and UNICEF, with support from ECHO and the government of Canada, was held in Bali from 28-29 November 2023. Titled "Towards a Child-sensitive and Adaptive Social Protection System: Achievements and Forethought," the forum aimed at tackling the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, especially children, in East Asia and the Pacific.

The forum provided a platform for policymakers, development partners, academics, and experts in social protection, gender, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation, to exchange knowledge and insights on good practices. The three main objectives were creating a platform for reflection on regional achievements, sharing successful cases and approaches from East Asia and the Pacific, and fostering opportunities for collaboration among governments and development partners.

"In the face of climate change, increased pollution levels, and biodiversity loss, our commitment to adaptive social protection is crucial. Indonesia, dealing with frequent disasters, highlights the need for responsive social protection,” Deputy Minister of Population and Manpower, the Ministry of National Development Planning Maliki said. “Our focus aligns with SDGs, ensuring benefits and empowerment. Through collaboration and innovative strategies, we'll shape the next five years, aiming to accelerate poverty alleviation and ensure equal access for all."

Social protection, considered a fundamental element of sustainable development and human rights, plays a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being of the most marginalized individuals. Despite economic growth in East Asia and the Pacific, child poverty rates remain high, exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region is also vulnerable to disasters, posing additional threats to the most disadvantaged communities.

The Government of Indonesia, recognizing the importance of an inclusive social protection system, has made significant improvements over the past two decades. With a commitment to adaptability, particularly in the face of increased disasters, Indonesia has documented a Master Plan for Disaster Mitigation and is actively working towards an inclusive and efficient social protection system.

“It is encouraging to see policy makers, practitioners, experts, and development partners coming together from across the East Asia and the Pacific region to exchange innovative ideas and key lessons. More than ever before, social protection systems must respond to the needs of children, especially as the climate crisis threatens their future and frequent disasters risk eroding the gains made towards realizing their rights,” said Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative for Indonesia.

Key areas discussed during the regional forum included: (1) the role of child-sensitive and adaptive social protection to improve access to immunization, health, and nutrition services, (2) the relevance of evidence and data for strengthening child-sensitive and adaptive social protection, (3) the importance of integrated and adaptive social registries and information management systems, (4) the protection of  people against shocks due to climate change through social protection, and (5) the importance of sustainable and risk-informed financing for social protection systems.

Media contacts

Kinanti Pinta Karana
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Indonesia
Tel: +62 8158805842

About the Forum

The Regional Social Policy Forum is jointly organized by the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) of Indonesia and UNICEF (East Asia Pacific regional office and Indonesia country office), with financial support from ECHO and the government of Canada, and in collaboration with the World Food Programme and the Finnish Red Cross.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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