Cash Transfer and Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes in the Arab Region - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Press release

22 Jul 2016

Beirut, Lebanon

Cash Transfer and Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes in the Arab Region

ESCWA hosted an international workshop on (Conditional) Cash Transfer Programmes (CCTs) in the Arab Region” in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), and the World Bank. The event was held on 19-20 July 2016 at the UN-House in Beirut, as part of ESCWA’s ongoing work on social protection and of the Commission’s activities to support countries in implementing the 2030 development agenda.

Cash Transfers and Conditional Cash Transfers are increasingly used by Governments as a powerful and well-targeted tool to provide relief to people living in poverty whilst simultaneously confronting the causes of distress. They are thus anticipated to be capable of breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty. Globally the spread of conditional cash transfers soared from 27 countries in 2008 to 64 in 2014.

The workshop brought together ministers and officials from ten countries across the Arab region which have already implemented Cash Transfer programmes or which are considering to do so, including presentations by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. The exchange furthermore benefited from the insights provided by experts from Latin America who have experience with (C)CTs, and from the expertise of representatives from international organizations.

The workshop provided a valuable occasion to share and compare national experiences with the implementation of Cash Transfer schemes. It discussed the applicability of conditions, the difficulties involved in the selection of beneficiaries, the benefits to children and women, and the inherent challenges of coordinating multiple stakeholders.

A final report will ensure wider access to the workshop’s key findings and recommendations, complementing previous explorations of (C)CT schemes in Arab countries undertaken by ESCWA. Further technical cooperation, tailored to the needs of individual countries who wish to implement (C)CT schemes, and subsequent regional workshops will address specific aspects of such programmes. The ESCWA workshop on (Conditional) Cash Transfers thus marks a crucial step towards strengthening social protection and enhancing inclusive development in the Arab region.
 For more information on the event: 
For more information:
Nabil Abu-Dargham +961-70-99 31 44
Ms. Mirane Abi-Zaki +961-76-04 64 02
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