In recent years, numerous Arab countries, such as Jordan and Mauritania, have either reduced or altogether abolished subsidies for a broad range of basic consumption goods, including staple foods, electricity and fuel. The resulting budget
savings have been – at least partially – rededicated to social protection-related expenses. Three Arab countries, namely Egypt, Mauritania and Morocco, have opted to repurpose a portion of the available funds to initiate poverty-targeted cash transfers, but with specific conditions that enrolled households must adhere to as a precondition to receive the cash transfers.

In Egypt, the Government has started phasing out regressive energy subsidies and some subsidies on food items, while introducing targeted forms of social assistance. In 2015, the flagship cash transfer programme Takaful and Karama was launched, and by March 2023 it had expanded to cover almost 4.5 million beneficiary households, or 13.5 per cent of the national population. 

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