EUROsociaAL+ and SISCA create a space for exchanging the experiences of Central American governments in the face of the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic
The Secretariat for Central American Social Integration (SISCA) and theEuropean Union: EUROsociAL+ programme, which is cooperatively managed by FIIAPP, have promoted the creation of an online Forum on reactive social protection in response to emergencies.
The forum will have several thematic meetings at which countries in the SICA region will analyse and share their learning about the social effects that the health measures adopted to contain COVID-19 are causing and what public policies can be adopted.
These dialogues and exchanges will mainly involve public institutions specialising in the subject to be discussed from each region, European countries and the United Nations (UN).
The first meeting, entitled “Social Protection and COVID-19: Opportunities and Challenges in the SICA Region“, has been co-organised by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). This dialogue has explored options aimed at strengthening emergency preparedness and response based on more flexible national social protection systems.
The first session brought together 240 people including representatives from government institutions in the SICA countries, officials with UN agencies, and other specialists. It gave first-hand and real-time knowledge regarding the measures taken by some governments in the region in response to the health emergency and mitigation of the economic impact through social protection. The participating countries included Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
This first meeting was opened by the SISCA Secretary General, Alfredo Suárez, the regional director of the World Food Programme, Miguel Barreto, and the head of cooperation with the European Union Delegation in Nicaragua and to SICA, Laurent Sillano. They highlighted the importance of social protection programmes, dialogue and the exchange of experiences in the face of the dramatic effects that the pandemic is having at the health, social and economic level.
SISCA and EuroSOCIAL+ will shortly define the calendar for the forthcoming events in the dialogue and exchange initiative.