- The Angolan Parliament this week approved the Social Protection Bill aiming at eliminating the precariousness and reducing the negative social consequences caused by the long years of war, according to the government.
The new social protection act is to lay the basic framework for the country's social services, which to date are essentially non-existing. After ending the country's long and devastating civil war last year, the government and international donors have however launched efforts to create some social security for the impoverished population.
When presenting the project, Angolan Minister of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security, Pitra Neto, said the diploma is meant to financially compensate the families in need and secure the means for their sustenance, according to the state-run news agency Angop.
The Act was reported to state three levels of social protection, based on national solidarity. Its funding was to be done through taxation, by tax-payers, and by the facultative adhesion of members.
Structured in eight chapters and 62 articles, the Act also intends to lessen the effects of the reduction of workers' incomes in case of lack or diminution of working capability, maternity, unemployment or aging, thus ensuring the survival of their family members, Angop reports.
Social services in Angola were largely destroyed by the civil war, which left 60 percent of all hospitals and 5,000 schools in ruins. Therefore, around sixty percent of Angola's children suffer from chronic malnutrition and 45 percent do not go to school.
Several organisations and UN agencies are supporting Angolan government efforts to reconstruct the country's social infrastructure. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) vaccinated 7.1 million Angolan children against measles.
UNICEF is also supporting the "Back to School" initiative, the country's biggest education campaign to date, which has benefited 500,000 children. In addition, the Angolan government has announced funding for a further 29,000 teachers across the country.
- Social services were basically wiped out here, hundreds of thousands of Angolans are returning home, and many challenges remain in achieving universal education and routine immunisation, UNICEF Representative in Angola, Mario Ferrari, recently told the press in Luanda.
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