Sharm el-Sheikh conference examines pension challenges and reforms in the Arab world – Foreign Affairs – Egypt

The two-day conference, taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, brings together a number of Arab ministers, officials and representatives of international organizations as well as private sector companies.

Gamal Awad, chairman of Egypt’s National Social Insurance Authority, said the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war have led to a global economic crisis and put increased pressure on growing efforts to find and maintain a social insurance and sustainable pension funds.

“We gather here to share the successful experiences of some Arab countries in the areas of investment in social insurance funds and anticipate the future prospects of pension and social insurance systems in the light of economic changes. and social,” Awad said.

“We strive to put in place the appropriate mechanisms and recommendations for collective action at the Arab level for social security institutions that provide Arab citizens with the basic needs and rights to achieve social justice.”

Nevine El-Qabbaj, Egyptian Minister for Social Solidarity, underlined that pension systems play an important role in the Arab world and in the world by providing regular income to retirees, insuring them against all forms of risks and improving the quality of life of families. .

She also noted that an International Labor Organization report published in 2021 on building the future of social security and global trends found that only 47% of the world’s population benefits from one or more programs. social security, while the remaining 53% are not included. under any type of social protection.

El-Qabbaj added that about 78% of people above retirement age receive a pension, while only 19% of unemployed people receive unemployment benefit and 34% of disabled people receive disability benefit.

As for Worker’s Compensation, the Minister said it only covers 35% of the formal working population globally, and despite the benefits that have become available in the insurance protection system, fears maintain effective and sustainable social protection and pension systems increase during times of economic crises and economic reforms, labor market transformations and budget cuts.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait affirmed that Egypt is in a position to achieve a historic achievement that embodies a pioneering experience in reforming the pension and social security system, based on providing a decent life to all citizens, especially the elderly.

“All the global economic challenges have put pressure on the budgets of many countries, especially emerging economies in the Arab region,” he said, adding that the recurrence of international crises has led to negative impacts on performance. of the global economy, which requires the broadening of the social security umbrella.

The government is working to reform the pension system in a comprehensive and integrated way and to solve the financial problems between the Ministry of Finance and the pension system.

Adel Al-Asoumi, Speaker of the Arab Parliament, said the parliament is aware of the importance of developing pension systems and protecting lives, especially by working to enact legislation for the benefit of pension insurance systems. .

He also stressed the importance of exchanging experiences in social security systems and restructuring the systems to keep pace with changes in the Arab world, so that Arab countries have a security plan for social protection which is in the interest of pensioners .

Marcelo Abi-Ramia, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association, believes that it is necessary to seek innovative solutions for social security systems that aim to reduce poverty and accelerate sustainable development.

“Social security has become more important than ever, given all the current challenges,” he said, adding that protecting people from poverty through social security systems is a priority.

The conference, which is being held in Egypt for its sixth edition after five consecutive years in Bahrain, will also discuss for two days the challenges and reforms concerning the provision of sustainable pensions in the Arab world, equality and equity, management private pension funds, the art and science of actuarial assumptions and post-pandemic investing.

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