Financing Universal Social Protection Systems in the Arab Region:   What alternatives to debt and austerity?

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This session looks into financing mechanisms for more inclusive, effective, and sustainable social protection systems in the Arab region. It presents recent research findings by ARI and its partners on the role of the IMF in shrinking fiscal spaces, thus limiting public and especially social spending. It demonstrates how the Fund is promoting austerity, imposing conditionalities that hinder alternatives, driving countries into a debt trap, and enforcing detrimental credit risk management. The session proposes alternatives to this prevalent model, ranging from key fiscal reforms and solidarity financing instruments to utilizing climate finance as an opportunity for funding universal social security.