Executive Summary

Social Protection in Egypt: Mitigating the Socio-Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulnerable Employment.

Amr Adly, Samer Atallah, Dina Makram-Ebeid, Hania Sholkamy, Nadine Sika

The historic ‘Spanish Influenza’ of 1918 was the first of three viral pandemics of the 20th century. It was followed by the ‘Asian flu’ of 1957 and the ‘Hong Kong flu’ of 1968 Approximately one million people died due to Asian flu and a similar tragic loss was caused by Hong Kong flu. The 21st century has seen four pandemic outbreaks: N1H1 in 2009 (‘bird flu’), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012, and Ebola which peaked in 2013-14. The virulence of virus disease, particularly respiratory infections caused by a corona virus, are not new to human history. Yet when the COVID-19 pandemic raged, as it still does, people and governments were taken by surprise. The unpreparedness of services, policies and policy makers was and continues to be simply stunning. It is as if governments were discovering the meaning of governing having neglected the basic responsibilities of leadership in times of crises.


Pathogenic contagions are neither remote nor new. Their role in charting paths of human development and in instilling cautionary tales in human collective memory are well documented. ... READ MORE