Sierra Leone Social Protection Conference (SL-SPC)

The Government's ‘New Direction’ and the Medium Term National Development Plan (PRSP 4 Paper) pays attention to social protection and the Social Protection Policy. The policy is forward-looking, particularly on the “Free Quality Education” programme, and how to address inequalities and quality in education. The government increased allocations to Social protection in the 2019 budgets as a sign of its commitment. Although the effort is applauded, more is needed to cover the social protection floorfor the most vulnerable groups, women and children.

For instance, due to lack of funding, only 20 per cent of the extremely poor population is served by the World Bank and UNICEF-supported Cash transfer programme.Creating additional fiscal space is necessary to increase coverage of social protection in Sierra Leone. This conference is therefore handy to bring to the fore the importance of investing in social protection and also learning from other countries with best practices on harmonised or single registry, targeting and payment mechanisms.