(Paris/Beirut/Tunis - 11/04/2023) The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) is launching a new campaign to enhance awareness, visibility and collaboration around issues and challenges related to social protection in the Arab region.
Entitled ‘26 Days of Activism for Social Protection,’ the campaign runs between 7 April (World Health Day) and 1 May (Labor Day). Efficient and just social protection policies and mechanisms are designed to mitigate against risks to health and livelihoods, as well as education, shelter and other basic needs that contribute to wellbeing. The social contract between residents and the State dictates that the latter is responsible for ensuring access to healthcare and income security for the former, and yet, given the limited manifestations of democracy in the Arab region, social contracts are either non-existent or extremely frail. In turn, fair, integrated and effective social protection schemes are scarce, and those that do exist are often inadequate, exclusionary and subject to clientelistic networks, leaving people unprotected from political, socio-economic and environmental shocks as well as multifaceted crises, of which there have been many in the region.
At ARI, we envision an Arab region in which all people, regardless of their identities, are guaranteed social protections that secure their access to the essential goods and services needed to ensure a decent standard of living, which sequentially gives them the opportunity to prosper and contribute as active members of society. To this end, we run a program dedicated to building universal social protection systems in the region; instigated and are the custodian of the Arab Region Hub for Social Protection; and are launching this new annual campaign.
We hope that the campaign will focus attention on the need to shift away from short-term social assistance programs, especially those financed by debt, and reflect on how to envisage and implement alternative policies that reduce growing inequalities and shield people from loss of livelihood implications.
We invite all activists, journalists, researchers, practitioners, decision makers and the public as a whole to support this campaign and its call for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social protection policies and programs that the vast majority of people in the Arab region are in dire need of.
Throughout the campaign, we will be highlighting core messages and information shared by specialists and stakeholders at events hosted by the Hub and in articles and research papers published by Hub partners. No less than 200 quotes and statistics will be shared on our social media platforms. An overview of all messages is available upon request to support your development of an article or report.
Follow our daily campaign posts on ARI’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-in) and do not forget to like, comment, share, re-post, and disseminate… We need to amplify the voice!
The Arabic version of this press release can be found here.
Farah Al Shami <email@example.com>, Social Protection Program Director, Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
Serene Dardari <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Director of Communications, Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
Reem Maghribi <email@example.com>, Campaign Communication Lead, Sharq.Org
If you have not yet done so, SUBSCRIBE to ARI’s Social Protection Program’s Newsletter and to the Arab Region Hub for Social Protection’s News Digest here:
The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.