ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2024/1

Country: Arab region, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kingdom of Bahrain, Union of the Comoros, Republic of Djibouti, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, State of Kuwait, Lebanese Republic, State of Libya, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Kingdom of Morocco, Sultanate of Oman

Publication Type: Flagship publications

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Inclusive development, Future of employment, Population dynamics & migration

Initiatives: Reforming social protection systems

SDGs: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Keywords: Arab countries, Disability benefits, Energy services, Food aid, Government policy, Health insurance, Households, Humanitarian assistance, Labour market, Law reform, Maternal health services, Occupational accidents, Occupational diseases, Old age benefits, Pension funds, Poverty, Public services, Right to education, Social isolation, Social safety nets, Social security, Social security legislation, Statistical data, Subsidies, Unemployment insurance

Annual Digest of Social Protection Reforms in the Arab Region, 2023

February 2024

This second edition of the Annual Digest of Social Protection Reforms in the Arab Countries serves as a comprehensive – albeit not exhaustive – record of the remarkable efforts made by the region’s governments throughout the year 2023. In this context it is encouraging to observe that while the overall number of recorded reforms is nearly unchanged, 2023 was marked by a larger share of comprehensive structural reforms compared to 2022.

The 155 recorded reforms – on average seven per country – however, are not just an indication of the great dynamism with which the governments in the region adapt their respective social protection landscapes to the changing economic, social and political conditions in which these systems operate. These changes are also a reminder of the opportunity that comes with those changes: to foster and establish meaningful cross-country and cross-regional exchange on social protection reform needs and reform options, to ensure that wheels are not reinvented, and potential pitfalls are circumvented.

Finally, it is imperative to extend sincere appreciation to the policymakers, researchers and social protection experts who have contributed to social protection reforms in the Arab countries in 2023. Their tireless efforts have paved the way for transformative reforms and have ignited hope for a more equitable and prosperous Arab region. While moving ahead, the region can build upon the lessons learned in 2023.

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Inclusive development , Future of employment , Population dynamics & migration ,
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