Building Iraq’s Social Protection Floor | Framework and Recommendations
17 August 2022
The rapid evolution of cash transfer social assistance programs in Iraq, most notably the Social Safety Net (SSN), over the past decade is more relevant to countries at earlier stages of development than a natural and systematic expansion reflecting Iraq’s development level as an upper middle-income country. As countries get richer and extreme poverty is largely eliminated, the tendency is to move away from narrow poverty-targeted ‘social safety nets’ to other more socially inclusive and less stigmatizing measures. The Emergency Bill passed in the second quarter of 2022 provided sizable allocations to a variety of social assistance programs. The existing system suffered from a flaw in its complex and costly targeting approach that requires a critical review prior to adding more resources into the same system.