UNICEF Egypt, IPC-IG and the Ministry of Social Solidarity join efforts to discuss inclusive social protection for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

04 May 2021
UNICEF Egypt, IPC-IG  and the Ministry of Social Solidarity join efforts to discuss inclusive social protection for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers
UNICEF/Egypt 2021

CAIRO, 29 April 2021 – Today, UNICEF in partnership with International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), organized a webinar titled “Inclusive Social Protection for Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers: Myth or Reality?” and released the corresponding research report on inclusive social protection from a global overview of international practices.

The webinar featured H. E Nevine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity  in Egypt, Marina Andrade, Lucas Sato, and Maya Hammad from IPC-IG, Brazil, Samman Thapa, Social Policy Regional Adviser at UNICEF MENA, Mrittika Shamsuddin and Rovane Battaglin Schwengber from the World Bank, and moderated by Luigi Peter Ragno, Chief of Social Policy at UNICEF Egypt.

The discussion focused on three main questions:

  • To what extent do national Social Protection systems have the capacity to integrate migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers?
  • How are other countries ensuring the right to Social Protection for all, especially the most vulnerable?
  • What is the potential to extend Social Protection to migrants in MENA?

The research presented evidence from selected number of country case studies on the inclusion of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in social protection system by exploring the particular vulnerabilities associated with migration and how countries are addressing those vulnerabilities through their social protection systems. It reviews and synthesizes lessons from countries that have sought to expand access to social protection for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Following the presentation of the key results, the discussions reflected on the readiness to include migrants in the social protection system in the MENA region, with a focus on Egypt.

Nevine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, discussed how the Government is supporting non-Egyptians as well as the main challenges that migrants and refugees face in Egypt and the region. El-Kabbag stressed that strong coordination between the government, CSOs and international organization,  as well allocating additional resources for financing migrant’s inclusion under a comprehensive legal framework are needed. Samman Thappa from UNICEF MENA added the need to explain the positive outcomes of migrations on host communities, and reverse the misconception that migrants and refugees are just a burden on the public resources of the host country.

Marina Andrade and Lucas Sato (IPC-IG) presentation focused on the key findings of the report, highlighting inclusive social protection international practices and enabling factors from a number of countries, including, Brazil, Turkey and Morocco. Mrittika Shamsuddin from the World Bank presented how Venezuelans still face various challenges to assimilate in Brazil with “two of the barriers [being] language and xenophobia”.

Migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have become a topic of discussion. Developing countries in recent years have been progressing towards reforming their social protection systems including, adapting and responding to current and future migration. While rights-based principles are crucial, it is also worth reflecting on the positive wider societal effects of including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in national social protection systems.

The research “Improving social protection for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt: An overview of international practices” brings to the fore social protection experiences from other countries to provide insights for a more inclusive and comprehensive social protection system and an improved migration governance framework in Egypt.

More information on improving social protection for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers can be accessed through UNICEF or IPC-IG website

Media contacts

Jonathan Crickx
Chief of Communication
Hala Abu Khatwa
Advocacy & Communications Manager

Additional resources

The webinar was held on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 11 am EET


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/.