Today, a blog by one of our Senior Social Policy Specialists, Stephen Kidd, is published by Alternative Policy Solutions, a public policy research project at The American University in Cairo. The blog argues that Egypt’s current tax-financed social security system is characteristic of the model used by England in the 19thCentury.
It reasons that a focus on social insurance for those in the formal economy and poor relief for the poorest has meant that there are significant coverage gaps in the national social security system. For example, only 37.5 per cent of over-60s access a pension, the majority of disabled Egyptians are excluded from disability benefits, and only around 10 per cent of children can access a child benefit.
The blog also points out the role of the World Bank and the IMF in pushing such 19th Century poor relief systems, with the financial institutions recommending Egypt rely on ‘targeted cash transfer programs’ that are largely ineffective at reaching the poorest but are attractive to political elites and lending institutions alike.
Read the blog here.