Three agencies of the United Nations (UN) have revealed that the third phase of their joint project to assist Congolese urban populations affected by Covid-19 will take the shape of an urban child-sensitive social safety net programme.
The government of Belgium-funded project focused on humanitarian cash transfers to vulnerable families in the first and second phases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The project, being implemeted by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), aims to reach 4,000 vulnerable households.
In a statement, UNICEF noted that this phase will take place in the health areas of Kindobo, Dingi Dingi and Buma.
UNICEF said that the third phase will also help to establish a social register and an Information and Management System (MIS) in the DRC.
‘Nearly 4,000 vulnerable households, including pregnant women, children under five, heads of households living with disabilities and the elderly are targeted in this programme’, the UNICEF statement read.
‘Existing community structures and networks of community relays, already supported by UNICEF, will again be called upon to strengthen the links between cash transfer activities and access to basic social services.
‘The third phase also aims to strengthen local economic production, in order to stimulate and diversify household incomes and generate a high impact on poverty reduction and the well-being of children’.
Social assistance programmes aim to reduce child poverty and act as a safety net for families with minimal resources.
Data from UNICEF shows that violence, exploitation and abuse against children in the DRC is widespread in all settings, including families, schools and communities.
UNICEF also noted that the DRC is one of the countries with the highest rates of gender-based violence directed towards children, accounting for 47 percent of survivors in emergency zones.
In 2019, the Ministry of Social Affairs of the DRC issued a ministerial order defining child protection procedures, roles and responsibilities that social workers must follow regarding children’s protection.
Photo source: UNICEF