Social Protection Floor Assessment Based National Dialogue, Egypt

ILO undertakes a Social Protection Floor (SPF) assessment which would result in achieving a basic level of social protection for all and a decent and dignified life.

Project background:

One of the main triggers of the 25th of January 2011 uprising was increasing poverty as well as the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Egypt in spite of the government's long standing history of subsidies and significant cash transfers for the poor. Since social assistance programmes in Egypt are not easily accessible by all Egyptian citizens and knowledge about eligibility and proof of eligibility is limited, benefits are not seen sufficient due to the fragmentation of social transfers and the difficulty to reach the poorest.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity has entrusted the ILO to undertake a Social Protection Floor (SPF) assessment which would result in achieving a basic level of social protection for all. The Social Protection Floor, as defined by the United Nations, is an integrated set of social policies designed to guarantee income security and access to social services for all, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups. It includes guarantees of:


  1. basic income security, in the form of various social transfers (in cash or in kind), such as pensions for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits, income support benefits and/or employment guarantees and services for the unemployed and underemployed; and
  2. availability and affordable access to essential social services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, education, food security, housing, and others defined according to national priorities.


The Social Protection Floor should comprise, at least, the following nationally defined set of basic social security guarantees:



A.     Health Care

Access to essential health care, including maternity care, at a nationally defined minimum level that meets the criteria of availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality

Life Cycle

B.     Children

Basic income security for children at a nationally defined minimum level, including access to nutrition, education, care, and any other necessary goods and services

C.     Working Age

Basic income security at a nationally defined minimum level for persons of active age who are unable to earn sufficient income, in particular in the case of sickness, unemployment, maternity, and disability

D.     Old Age

Basic income security at a nationally defined minimum level for older persons



The components of the SPF or “guarantees” are defined in accordance with national social protection priorities and circumstances and gives flexibility in establishing an SPF that would support the government in implementing its strategic objectives related to poverty reduction, as well as economic development.


The ILO strategy on the extension of social protection is based on the two-dimensional strategy adopted by the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference in 2011.
This two-dimensional approach aims at the rapid implementation of national social protection floors containing basic social security guarantees that ensure universal access to essential health care and income security at least at a nationally defined minimum level (horizontal dimension), in line with the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) , and the progressive achievement of higher levels of protection (vertical dimension) within comprehensive social security systems according to the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102).

In addition,
Goal 1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere” of the Sustainable Development Goals (2016/2030), the Target 1.3 “Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors” recognizes the role of the SPF to alleviate poverty and contribute to socio-economic development


Within this framework, the ILO developed a two-dimensional plan for the SPF. This includes:

·        Horizontal coverage, or the Social Protection Floor, providing access to essential health care for all, income security for children, assistance to the unemployed, underemployed and poor, and income security for the elderly and disabled; and

·        Vertical coverage building on the first floor and providing more extensive and comprehensive social protection coverage to those with income levels exceeding the floor.




Implementation Strategy:


Reaching a nationally defined SPF in Egypt can follow the following steps:

1.      Building an Egyptian social protection floor team, which should include international organization representatives, relevant national stakeholders, and development partners, under the leadership of the Government of Egypt.

2.      Supporting national dialogues, including within Governments, on potential options for designing and implementing appropriate SPFs, consistent with relevant provisions in the ILO Recommendation N.202 and existing national development priorities and strategies.

3.      Assisting the Government of Egypt to undertake analysis of social protection needs and gaps, optional measures which would close these gaps, tools to monitor progress, and possible sources of financing, with the hope of increasing floors over time.

4.      In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030), promoting the SPF as a key instrument to advance inclusive and sustainable development.

5.      Working with Ministries and National Statistical Offices to strengthen their ability to collect the data needed to analyze social protection needs and existing provisions, disaggregated by factors such as gender, age, and geographical locality. Promote an efficient and co-ordinated approach to data collection and capacity support.


For further information, please contact:

Pascal Annycke, Social Protection Specialist