From COVID-19 Response to Broader Social Protection Reform – Regional Experiences


Globally, 212 countries and territories turned to social protection programmes as part of their response to COVID-19 and its socio-economic impacts, including all Eastern Caribbean countries and territories. Governments are entering a new phase: transitioning to more medium-term support, while also rethinking how best to strengthen and reform social protection systems overall.  What does responding to COVID-19 today mean for social protection tomorrow?

In the Caribbean, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is developing a regional Social Inclusion and Social Protection Strategy to support its members in these efforts. The Government of Saint Lucia is reviewing its social protection policy and legislation as part of a broader reform process. Similarly, the Government of Barbados has started an overall social protection system review to guide its strategic direction. Under the Joint SDG Fund Programme for Universal and Adaptive Social Protection in the Eastern Caribbean, the UN Multi-Country Office is supporting Barbados, Saint Lucia, and the OECS to strengthen social protection systems to mitigate the impacts of shocks and to expand towards universal access. 

This webinar aimed to:
  • Highlight countries’ particular needs and priorities for social protection over the coming months and years;
  • Take stock of obstacles and opportunities in the transition from COVID-19 response to broader social protection reform;
  • Identify practical approaches to support this transition and strengthen social protection systems in the long run.



Ms. Velda Octave-Joseph, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Saint Lucia
Mr. Andrew Pollard, Coordinator, Poverty Alleviation and Reduction Programme, Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs 
Ms. Grace-Ann Cornwall, Programme Director, Social Development, OECS Commission



Ms. Sarah Bailey, Head of Programme, World Food Programme Office of Caribbean Emergency Preparedness and Response
Ms. Christina Dankmeyer, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF’s Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area in Barbados


Moderator: Ms. Lilia Ramjeawan, Joint Programme Coordinator, Lilia Ramjeawan, SDG Fund Joint Programme on Universal Adaptive Social Protection in the Eastern Caribbean