The Ministry of Health and Social Development has finalised a Social Protection Policy and Action Plan following a recent workshop with stakeholders.

The document, however, has not yet been made public.

Consultation on the development of the policy began in 2021 with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund and lead consultant Dr. David Cownie of the Cayman Islands-based Social Impact Assessment and Policy Analysis Corporation, according to Government Information Services
SIAPAC produced a draft policy; action plan; and monitoring, evaluation and learning framework after research that included document reviews and virtual consultations, GIS stated.

“The policy and action plan are expected to serve as a key policy framework for new social protection legislation and supporting institutional arrangements,” according to a GIS press release. “The National Council for Human and Social Development for the Virgin Islands will be the coordinating body to ensure cohesive policy development and implementation of the social policy.”

During the recent workshop, HSD Minister Vincent Wheatley addressed the stakeholders and stressed the importance of the relationship between mental health, climate change and social protection.

At the coming COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates, he noted, a day will be dedicated to health including mental health.

“So, as we go through the exercise, bear in mind climate change, mental health and social protection,” he advised. “Think of it as one package, because each one phases into the other.”