Tunisia undertakes to foster its economic relations by reforming its social security system, reads the 2022 Annual Digest of Social Protection Reforms in the Arab Region, published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA). Published on July 2023, the report inidcated that a social security agreement between Tunisia and Switzerland entered into force on October 1. “The agreement facilitates access to old-age, disability and survivors’ benefits and enables these to be paid abroad. It further promotes economic exchanges between the two countries and avoids double taxation by facilitating the secondment of personnel,” reads the report. According to the same source, social security agreements were also signed between Tunisia and Serbia on MArch 28, 2022 and between Tunisia and Canada on November 18, 2022. In this regard, UNESCWA further indicated that the Tunisian Government had expanded in 2022 the ‘Amen’ social protection programme, which was introduced in 2019 to merge several social assistance programmes under a common umbrella. The Government is currently rolling out its social registry (with over 1 million households already enrolled) and replacing physical cards providing access to free or subsidised health care with digital cards which will enable the exchange of information between public health-care institutions and the National Health Insurance Fund. Furthermore, a new programme established the possibility of retiring before the standard retirement age of 62 years, beginning at age 57 years. “A partial or total cancellation of penalties was also announced for workers insured under the National Social Security Fund.” Tunisia’s achievements in the socio-economic sector were also included in the report, such as the revision of the legal monthly minimum wage in October 2022. Tunisia is one of the few countries in the Arab region to have set up a socio-economic security system for the citizens since its independence.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse