Social protection is an essential human right, which goes beyond poverty reduction given that it helps individuals mitigate lifecycle risks, such as old age, disability, sickness or unemployment.
Arab countries are in the process of reforming their social protection systems to increase the sustainability, coverage and alignment of their respective components (social insurance, social assistance and basic health services). Integrated social registries and management information systems are vital tools to improve the management of social protection.
ESCWA helps member States devise urgently needed social protection policies and programmes that reach marginalized groups. Social protection systems, their design and extent are shaping social cohesion, social justice and the structure of labour markets. They assist people in their efforts to achieve a decent life, and enhance people’s trust in their Government.
ESCWA contributes to the improvement of social protection policies, and the expansion and harmonization of social protection systems in Arab countries, thereby increasing social security for people in the region.
ESCWA publishes analytical reports on the status of social protection reform, and technical papers on individual components of social protection systems. It collaborates with other international agencies to increase the knowledge base on social protection in the region.
ESCWA established the Group of Experts on Social Protection Reform in 2018. ESCWA regularly convenes the Group, which consists of government experts and decision makers from member States. The Group serves as a forum for the exchange of experience and mutual advice on social protection reform throughout the region. By convening regular meetings, delivering workshops and trainings, developing knowledge products, and providing technical advice through the Group, ESCWA raises the awareness and strengthens the capacity of policymakers in Arab countries to efficiently design, implement and monitor social protection reforms, and facilitates regional and subregional cooperation and mutual learning in the field of social protection.
ESCWA also provides Arab countries with technical advice and training on various social protection issues, including improving the identification of vulnerable populations and analysing relevant databases to strengthen social security.