Arab countries are unlikely to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, even under the best-case scenario of a full ‘pass-through’ of national growth to household incomes. This column presents new projections for pass-through and poverty trends in both the region and the world as a whole. Lower rates of pass-through suggest the importance of incorporating distributional policies into the design of national poverty reduction plans.
For Africa and the Middle East, new digital technologies present an opportunity to raise productivity by speeding up structural transformation – but how equipped are countries in the region for taking advantage of this moment? This column presents evidence on readiness for e-commerce, integration into global supply chains, data infrastructure and the performance of the services sector.
It is well known that factionalism and corruption have long stood in the way of the kinds of structural reforms that Lebanon needs. But as this Project Syndicate column argues, an overlooked problem is the inaction of foreign powers that could easily compel domestic changes if they had the right incentives.