The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) has entered into contract with Ernst and Young (Trinidad and Tobago), for the implementation of Phase I of the National Social Mitigation Plan for Trinidad and Tobago.
The Ministry has confirmed the contract signing, which occurred on Tuesday 7 July 2020.
According to the Ministry’s statement, the National Social Mitigation Plan (NSMP)—which was approved by Cabinet in October 2017—was crafted as a direct response to the potential psycho-social, economic and social effects experienced by vulnerable households in 2015, when global energy prices plummeted to unprecedented levels.
The Ministry states that its theme is “Building Resilience to Secure Our Nation”, and its primary objectives and focus include:
- Strengthening this country’s social protection system;
- The promotion of community and civil society action against poverty; and
- The growth of an enterprising and innovative society.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, Jacinta Bailey-Sobers, notes that the Plan is viewed as timely and relevant in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to the recovery period.
“Now more than ever, the MSDFS has a commitment to ensure that the social well-being of the most vulnerable is given priority,” she said. “The focus of the NSMP will now include retooling persons and building a culture of resilience, particularly among vulnerable populations. These focal areas were aligned to those identified in the Government’s National Recovery Plan,” she added.
The Ministry reports that commencement of the consultant for the implementation of Phase I will serve to assist in advancing the major projects included in the Plan. Prior to the consultancy, the Ministry says several key deliverables were achieved in support of “a multidimensional approach to the implementation of Phase I”, including:
- Appointment of the Inter-Sectoral Advisory and the Policy and Programmatic Oversight Committees for the implementation of the Plan.
- The carrying out of twenty-nine community outreach exercises—between August 30th, 2019 and March 31st, 2020—by the MSDFS, in collaboration with various other Ministries, State agencies, Non-governmental Organisations and Programmes.
“Such efforts are representative of a whole of government approach to social service delivery and a commitment to leaving no one behind in the course of this country’s development agenda,” PS Bailey-Sobers said.