The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has partnered with the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment in Saint Lucia to carry out a comprehensive research initiative aimed at exploring the potential of using new payment modalities for social protection.
The initiative will involve joint research activities to take stock of the digital financial ecosystem in Saint Lucia, via dialogue with key stakeholders namely government officials and digital payment providers.
Focus Group Discussions were held with women and men, including elderly people and people with disabilities, who receive social assistance payments from the Ministry of Equity.
Additionally, a ‘User Journey Workshop’ (UJW) will be implemented, bringing together representatives from the government, private financial sector/payment providers, telecommunications/utility companies, and development partners to collectively explore key issues and solutions and to identify opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.
These activities are aimed at informing the potential of digital payments to make social assistance payments to beneficiaries. The joint research initiative is part of a broader effort to support Saint Lucia in achieving its development goals and ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to financial services.
Speaking on the partnership, WFP’s Programme Policy Officer – Social Protection & Cash Transfers, Riad Katkhoda said, “We are delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Equity in Saint Lucia to explore new payment modalities for social protection. This initiative represents an important step towards increasing access to financial services for vulnerable populations and ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access the support they need.”
This Research Project is the first activity under the new Technical Agreement for 2023-2024.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment