Egypt s Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj
El-Qabbaj made the remarks during the launch of the activities of the 6th Arab Pensions Conference that was held under the theme ‘Arab Pensions Outlook 2050 – Change and Opportunity’ in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Pension systems play an important role in the Arab world and globally in providing a regular income for pensioners, insuring them against all forms of risks, and in improving the quality of life for families, El-Qabbaj said while highlighting the significance of the conference.
She also noted that a report by the International Labour Organisation issued in 2021 on building the future of social security and global trends revealed that only 47 percent of the world’s population benefit from one or more social security programs, while the remaining 53 percent are not included under any kind of social protection.
During the conference, which was held under the auspices of the ministries of Social Solidarity and Finance, El-Qabbaj said that the number of beneficiaries from the social insurance and pension system in Egypt has reached 10.7 million, 58 percent of whom are women.
The number of people covered by insurance has reached 14 million, of women represent 23 percent, according to a report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2021.
In 2021, the labour force increased by 3.2 percent, with the total number of workers reaching about 27.2 million: 11.6 million in urban areas and 15.5 million in rural areas. More than 40 percent of the workforce in Egypt works in the private sector.
On woman, she said that the National Authority for Social Insurance is responsible for providing paid days off for expecting mothers for 90 days in the private sector with 75 percent of their salary, she added.
Moreover, El-Qabbaj said that the Ministry of Social Solidarity has adopted a package of social protection and economic empowerment policies for the workforce, and the beneficiaries of the cash support program Takaful and Karama have reached 5 million families, of whom women represent 74 percent.
The Takaful and Karama Programme was launched in 2015 to support impoverished families with school-age children, the elderly and people with special needs in Upper Egypt.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has said that Egypt is including social protection programs worth over EGP 490 billion – roughly $26 billion – in the country's 2022/2023 budget that started in July.
Madbouly made the statements in a press conference detailing the new social packages ordered by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to help Egyptians cope with the repercussions of global inflation.
The sum allocated to protection programs in the 2022/2023 budget is up from EGP 290 billion in the country's 2015/2016 budget, the prime minister explained.
The president's directives aim to ease the burden on the population as soon as possible amid the current inflation wave, Madbouly said, offering assurances that the state would always bear the brunt of any hikes in commodity prices and pass only a small portion onto the population.