GIS – 11 December, 2018: Government is committed to bringing about a meaningful change for the benefit of all cross sections of the population and makes it a priority to consider the impact of any particular change on the life of the most vulnerable groups of society.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Marie Joseph Noël-Etienne Ghislain Sinatambou, made this statement, yesterday, at an official function organised to mark International Volunteer Day 2018, at the Municipal City Council of Port Louis. This International Day is annually observed on 5 December.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Some 150 participants from NGOs, Watch Committees and Watch Cells attended the function.
In his address, the Minister pointed out that Government has a predominant role to play in achieving the social agenda, and, also emphasised on the significant contribution of NGOs in this endeavour. The critical importance of partnerships between public and private enterprises and the civil society towards the realisation of the SDGs was highlighted by Minister Sinatambou.
Government, said the Minister, relies on the needed support of the volunteers working for NGOs and the civil society to give a helping hand in diverse areas of importance. These are namely: poverty alleviation; empowerment of persons with disabilities; keeping watch at community level for safety, security and welfare of elderly persons and persons with disabilities; and, responding to the needs of persons affected by natural calamities.
Furthermore, Mr Sinatambou underlined that Government will continue to provide all necessary assistance to strengthen NGOs so that they can amply fulfill their role as strategic partner to achieve the social mission of Mauritius.
Referring to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030, the Minister indicated that it enumerates 17 development goals with particular focus on poverty alleviation. Government has implemented several measures to eradicate poverty, he stressed. They comprise the provision of subsistence allowance to eradicate absolute poverty, the introduction of a minimum wage and negative income tax for those at the lowest level of the salary scale, increase in the payment of pensions and also an increase in financial grants to vulnerable families.
Speaking about International Volunteer Day 2018, Mr Sinatambou underlined that it is an opportunity to recognise and promote the values of volunteerism as well as pay a tribute to volunteers who selflessly serve the community. The 2018 theme Volunteers build Resilient Communities lays emphasis on the work carried out by volunteers in making the community more resilient to phenomena such as natural disasters, economic and political shocks.
The official function organised to mark International Volunteer Day 2018 comprised the award of certificates of appreciation to some 60 NGOs which receive grant-in-aid and ad-hoc financial assistance for social entrepreneurship projects as well as to Elderly Watch Committees and Disability Watch Cells consisting of volunteers. A presentation on the contribution of the NGO Trust Fund since its inception in 1999 was also made on that occasion.
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