This inaugural event — the first in a series of unique opportunities to engage with high-level decision makers, policymakers, regulators, private sector business leaders and influencers — will share a vision for how to build a renewed social protection system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that protects all people who need it, whenever they need it, in a financially sustainable way.
“Rethinking Social Protection in MENA is critical. The continued innovation, learning, and sharing of experience in designing and implementing social protection measures will be vital in shaping the new normal across MENA in the years to come.”
– Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for adaptive, inclusive and sustainable social protection systems for countries in MENA. Without reforms, the prevailing systems in the region will become increasingly out of sync with the realities of tomorrow and financially unsustainable. The situation is a reflection of a broken social contract, as most people in MENA no longer support it, and government can no longer afford it.
As governments in MENA think about recovery from COVID-19, they must think of ways to improve their social contract and provide access to social protection to all in an equitable, transparent and sustainable manner.
There World Bank has supported social protection systems in MENA countries for several years and scaled up its support rapidly since COVID-19. There is now an active social protection engagement in every client country in the region: 15 active projects totaling $3.7 billion and pipeline of another two projects for $315 million this year.