ESCWA continues to support sustainable development in the Arab region by launching two social expenditure monitors in Jordan and Tunisia - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Press release

12 Sep 2022

ESCWA continues to support sustainable development in the Arab region by launching two social expenditure monitors in Jordan and Tunisia

Beirut, 12 September 2022— Some Arab governments are still facing severe fiscal pressures preventing them from directing public funds to support sustainable development. Therefore, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has developed the Social Expenditure Monitor (SEM) to support budgeting and fiscal policy choices, and to gear expenditure toward urgent social priorities.

On 8 and 12 September, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti participated in ceremonies for the launch of the SEM held in Jordan and Tunisia respectively, in cooperation with relevant ministries.

The SEM is a pioneering tool which improves monitoring and managing social expenditure so that the policies are more equitable, efficient and effective for inclusive growth. The monitor also supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides a comprehensive scale for social spending in areas of education; health and nutrition; housing, connectivity and communal facilities; labour market interventions and job creation; social protection, support and agricultural assistance; art, culture and sport; and environmental protection.

Speaking to this matter, Dashti stressed that the efficiency of the public sector, especially regarding spending in the social services sector, was essential to revive the economy. “The Social Expenditure Monitor is an effective tool for identifying areas where spending is inefficient according to international standards, in order to solve the issue,” she said.

Dashti further elaborated that the monitor was an ideal tool to help Governments communicate efficiently with citizens, civil society, and donors regarding government programs and the spending allocated to it.

“The main objective of the SEM is to support the efforts of member States to achieve the SDGs by spending smarter instead of more,” she added.

The monitor takes into consideration the national characteristics of each country and compares them to analyze gaps and identify several spending scenarios. It also assists in the process of preparing public budgets, primarily in the realms deemed necessary to build resilience.

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About ESCWA

One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.

 

For more information:

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email: sleiman2@un.org

- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email: harb1@un.org

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