The G20 Disaster Risk Resilience Working Group has called upon governments to build a social protection system with an effective and preferred instrument for disaster risk financing.

The meeting called by G20 Disaster Risk Resilience Working Group and UNICEF with delegates from the G20 countries, International Finance Institutions and United Nations agencies, stressed on the need for new-age Social Protection Systems that invest in local risk resilience to mitigate, prepare and recover from disasters.

Krishna Vatsa, Member, National Disaster Management Authority said social protection is not only about poverty alleviation but also empowerment of people to thrive despite disasters. Going forward, he said focus should also be on financial inclusion, building back assets and livelihood, besides restoring the social networks which generate trust and most importantly encourage women-led participation and development.

Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF India Representative, said the G20 forum highlighting shock responsive social protection in disaster risk reduction is important and should be the mid-point of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Such systems protect the most vulnerable. Children and women in shock prone settings are most at risk of being left behind because of increasing frequency, magnitude and overlaying of shocks, especially those resulting from climate change, said McCaffrey.

“We look forward to the South-South collaboration to accelerate learning and evidence-based actions in disaster prone countries to strengthen the shock responsiveness of social protection systems, to reach the most vulnerable, especially children, youth and women,” added McCaffrey.

Social protection system consists of mechanisms to provide assistance for employment and livelihoods security, social housing, cash transfers, micro-insurance, financial inclusion and food security to vulnerable groups.

National governments, international and local institutions have a critical role in mobilising financial, technical and human capital to strengthen disaster risk management systems.

Social protection has emerged as an important policy instrument to utilise Disaster Risk Finances particularly for the most vulnerable groups and improve their uninterrupted access to intermediate technologies and innovative financing mechanisms for safe housing, clean drinking water, sanitation, power supply and other social sector services and facilities.