Second virtual meeting of the Expert Group on Social Protection Reform - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
2 November 2020
Expert Group Meeting

Second virtual meeting of the Expert Group on Social Protection Reform

  • Online: Microsoft Teams

Social protection, including social insurance, basic health services and social assistance is a human right for every member of society. Moreover, it is an indispensable tool to fulfil the goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment”.

The importance of social protection increases manifold during crises. The Covid-19 pandemic, that engulfed the world in early 2020, has already resulted in soaring unemployment, poverty and food insecurity in many countries around the globe. It is estimated that Covid-19 crisis can lead to additional 14.3 million people falling in poverty in the Arab region only.

To mitigate the consequences of this crisis for population, Arab governments have expanded their social protection systems to expedite assistance to poor and vulnerable population. However, one of the key challenges facing many governments was to assess the impact of the economic lockdown on vulnerable population. The ‘nowcasting’ of socio-economic impact on vulnerable population is still difficult.

In order to assist governments with such assessments, ESCWA held on 2 November 2020 a virtual expert group meeting devoted to present a practical tool to support Arab policy makers in measuring their national poverty rates and accordingly develop responsive social policies. 

All related documents, opening statements, and presentations can be found on the Arabic link of the webpage.

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