New safety net to cover all poor people by 2018 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:16 AM, November 05, 2015

New safety net to cover all poor people in Bangladesh by 2018

Aiming to bring all the poor people under a safety net by 2018, the government has formulated a new National Social Security Strategy (NSSS), which would cover every age from newborn to the elderly for their life and living.

The five-year (2015-16 to 2021-22) strategy would facilitate cash allowances to women, elderly people and all physically-challenged people. It will also create work opportunities for the eligible men.

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The General Economic Division (GED) of the Planning Commission has prepared the document, which will be unveiled today, GED member Shamsul Alam told BSS yesterday.

He said 23 ministries and divisions are implementing 145 programmes relating to the social safety net.

The livelihood of the poor people should be upgraded with limited resources towards turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country, he observed.

The government, said Alam, has prepared the document with a long-term vision for "building an inclusive social security system for all deserving Bangladeshis”.

Over the next five years, the NSSS has set a goal to “reform the national social security system by ensuring more efficient and effective use of resources, strengthen delivery systems and progress towards a more inclusive form of social security”.

The Seventh Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) also emphasises the need for reforming and strengthening social security programmes in favour of the extreme poor.

The NSSS will ensure that the most vulnerable women are provided with income security, and getting opportunities to be engaged in the labour market. The strategy also focuses on ensuring employment for new mothers.

Moreover, the strategy will initiate a social insurance system that would enable people to invest in their own social security, providing protection against the risks of old-age, disability, social exclusion and unemployment.

During the initial years of NSSS implementation, emphasis will be given to extreme poor and the most vulnerable sections of the population. To avoid leakage and under-coverage, there will be a shift from the current discretionary approach to a targeted universal approach.

The Central Monitoring Committee on Social Safety Net Programmes under the Cabinet Division will ensure inter-ministerial coordination of social security programmes. 

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