Summer 2022 Newsletter: Forward

Summer 2022 Newsletter: Forward

Dear Friends,


My name is Walid Merouani, and it is a joy and honour to be writing the foreword for the MENASP Network Summer newsletter as a MENASP project advisor. I hope you have enjoyed the summer.


I am delighted to see that the MENASP network continues to provide a space for collaboration, sharing key news and events related to social policy in the MENA region.


The MENA countries are facing a multitude of challenges due to the successive economic, political, and natural disaster shocks that have hit the region during the last decades. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia conflict are still felt in the region, with many countries observing increased vulnerabilities. The vulnerability to poverty and food insecurity are likely to be topical challenges. The UNESCWA estimated that 16 million additional people were projected to fall into poverty in 2021 in the Arab region. Further, the World Bank estimate was that in 2021, the MENA region, while it accounted for only 6% of the world’s total population, has over 20% of the world’s acutely food insecure people. The MENASP Network is a space to discuss these types of issues and attempt to propose short, medium, and long-term social policies to help reduce vulnerabilities, improve resilience, and alleviate the negative impact of the current crises.


To enrich and develop the debate around the aforementioned issues, the MENASP Network is funding research projects, organising conferences and policy labs, providing E-courses, and publishing papers, related to the issues.


For instance, the network plans to organise its next biannual MENASP conference in Morocco in Summer 2023 – register your interest here to receive the conference info once it becomes available. The MENASP-CP Research Fund has an open call for applications, closing on 28th October. Early Career Researcher activities are starting again – keep a look out on social media and the mailing list. The following special issue will be published in the World Development journal, which will contain articles on social policy. On our website, you can read details of recent publications, guest blogs, upcoming events, and previous events.


This is a shared space for all, and we want every member to feel valued and have a clear sense of ownership. There are many ways to get involved: joining our experts’ database, blog-writing, sharing your recent publications, inviting others to join the conversation, and telling everyone about upcoming career opportunities, events and calls for funding.


Finally, thank you for your continued support and engagement as always, we are eager to learn from each other, so do share your feedback with us on the network.


Wishing you all the best.

Walid Merouani

Researcher, Centre de Recherche en Économie Appliquée pour le Développement, CREAD (Applied Economics for Development Research Centre), Algeria


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