Santo Domingo. – On November 17, at the V Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development, President Luis Abinader urged the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) to work together to address the current crisis affecting the world, with the firm purpose of ensuring sustainability and, especially, improving the quality of life of citizens.
He recalled that the governments of the region have had to deal with a pandemic scenario that paralyzed the world economy, causing serious financial difficulties: «under these difficult circumstances, the great social and economic inequities that still affect us have been exposed, caused by historical debts and social policies that are often insufficient and not very resilient, as well as the climate shock that represents a high cost in the GDP of our countries».
He stated that at this juncture, characterized by the uncertainty generated by the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sustained increase in the main international commodities, the global impact of the war in Europe and the onslaught of b, all the nations of the world find themselves in a state of latent vulnerability that affects the normal development of their country projects.
He highlighted the contributions made by the OAS since 1948 as an entity called to defend peace and justice, to promote solidarity among countries and to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the nations of the hemisphere and recognized that our region has the privilege of being the first in the world to form a regional organization called to promote cooperation and dialogue without limits of cultures, economic differences and geographical demarcations.
The Dominican government, said Abinader, has taken a series of measures aimed at combating inequalities, strengthening the welfare state to guarantee the future of the next generations, citing among them, the affiliation of 2 million citizens to the family health insurance of the subsidized regime, reaching a coverage of just over 98% of the total population.
The theme of the V Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development is «Strengthening Hemispheric Cooperation towards Resilient Reconstruction and Sustainable Social Development in the Americas» and, in this regard, the President highlighted the priorities of the Dominican Government in the aftermath of the pandemic.
«We have focused our work on two major areas: first, on the rapid recovery of economic activity and employment in the country, compared to the losses that the COVID-19 epidemic meant for our countries and, second, on improving social care through a new strategy to overcome poverty and vulnerability, which promotes the resilience of the population in vulnerable conditions from a multisectoral approach that allows the exit from poverty and prevents new people from falling into it,» said Abinader.
He added that from the government over which he presides «we have initiated several massive programs for the reconstruction of low-income housing and improvement of access to water and sanitation services in the country. We are promoting the largest program for the delivery of housing and land titles, favoring the most socially vulnerable population«.
He listed the government initiatives in the re-launching of the conditional cash transfer programs, today Supérate, introducing new components for labor and productive insertion and entrepreneurship of women as beneficiary population; and the increase in the coverage of these programs, doubling the amount of direct conditional aid, including the Aliméntate program and subsidies for the use of fuel for cooking and the payment of electricity.
«We have continued working on strengthening our social protection system, which has involved declaring as a priority the formation of the Universal Social Registry of Households and the Single Registry of Beneficiaries for the better allocation of public resources. Additionally, we are in the process of consolidating the Payment System of the Social Subsidies Administrator», the President emphasized.
He also mentioned the creation of the 14-24 Opportunity Program, as a comprehensive strategy to provide opportunities to young people who neither study nor work, so that they can be safely inserted into the labor market and the formal sector of our economy through training and other programs, in order to keep them away from paths that are not very beneficial for their future.