In a report released on Wednesday, the World Bank explained that the 0.3% of GDP the Egyptian government allocated for social safety programmes in the 2020 budget was unsubstantial.
The bank added that public spending on social protection accounted for about a third of total government spending on protection programs in 2013 before declining significantly in 2020, following the phasing out of energy subsidies.
According to the bank, Egypt implemented an essential reform by reducing fuel subsidies, resulting in state resource savings. Still, it did not translate into real increases in spending on major social assistance programs. In Egypt, government spending on social protection is less than half the world average (0.9% of GDP) and lower than the average in the Middle East and North Africa (0.42% of GDP). The low spending on social protection is not the only challenge facing Egypt, as it still encounters multiple obstacles regarding raising the efficiency of social protection programs.
The bank emphasized that the low level of spending, institutional complexities, and weak administrative capacities are among the factors that negatively affect the quality of the expenditure on social assistance programs.