On June 5, 2020, the first meeting was organized by the joint Program of the Government and UN agencies to strengthen the social protection system in Uzbekistan in the form of a video conference. The meeting was organized as part of a joint UN Program to strengthen the social protection system in Uzbekistan, implemented by UNICEF, ILO and UNDP. The program aims to support the Government in developing a national social protection strategy, developing an effective mechanism for interagency interaction and providing social protection, as well as improving social protection for people with disabilities.

The discussion of the Roadmap for the preparation of a national strategy of social protection until 2030 was on the agenda of the meeting, during which joint action plans aimed at providing all citizens of Uzbekistan with improved income guarantees and social support throughout the life cycle were also highlighted.

Representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, the Ministry of Mahalla and Family Support, the Ministry of Health, the Pension Fund, the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions, the Confederation of Employers of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the UN agency attended the meeting.

On the part of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Deputy Minister of Finance Sh. Sharakhmetov and Director of the Department of Budget Policy in the sectors of the social sphere, science and social protection N. Muslitdinov took part in the meeting.

The parties noted that strengthening the social protection system is an integral part of the State Program of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the implementation of the 2020 Strategy of Action, and is becoming even more relevant in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Sh. Sharakhmetov noted the importance of the social protection reform in the process of socio-economic development and the achievement of the national Sustainable Development Goals.

The Deputy Minister of Finance also noted that in the National Strategy of Actions for 2017-2021, one of the priority areas for the development of the social sphere is to improve the system of social protection of the population, which implies the provision of compulsory social guarantees, increased government support for vulnerable groups, and the improvement of social services and the development of public-private partnerships in the provision of social services to the public. The development of a national social protection strategy is one of the points of the State Program for the Implementation of the Action Strategy for 2020. Mr Sh. Sharakhmetov thanked the UN agencies for their support in developing the strategy.

Representatives of ministries and civil society shared their vision and ideas regarding the development of a national social protection strategy and expressed their willingness and commitment to actively participate in the process.

UN agencies have noted many years of fruitful cooperation with Uzbekistan in the field of social protection and the commitment of the Government of Uzbekistan to strengthening the social protection system in the context of ambitious socio-economic and health care reforms, as well as in building a response to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the socio-economic sphere and healthcare.

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