The earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria in February 2023 have caused widespread destruction and loss of life. As explained in this column, originally published at the Economic Observatory, experiences from a previous earthquake suggest that the impact on GDP in Türkiye is likely to be short-lived, as public spending on reconstruction will provide a substantial economic boost.
What has been the impact of Lebanon’s long-running economic crisis on the daily lives of citizens? This column documents a sharp increase in absolute poverty starting in 2019. Having at least three poor people out of every five residents of the country is a clear signal of the emergency of the situation.
The Middle East and North Africa is generally thought to be among the parts of the world where corruption spreads the fastest – and this is despite the progress of legislation in some MENA countries and the economic wealth in others. The role of women in the fight against corruption in the region is often ignored and underestimated. This column argues that more gender egalitarianism in a fair system can enhance efforts to reduce corruption.
Jordan has an ambitious national strategy for social protection, adopted in 2019. But as this column explains, implementing it has not been easy in the context of economic challenges, the global pandemic and geopolitical instability. Achieving transformative social protection requires a new social contract, citizen engagement and effective support from the international donor community.
How did Iran’s revolution of 1978-79 and the war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988 affect levels of income inequality levels in the country? Would income inequality have developed differently in Iran if the revolution and war had never occurred? And how significant were the effects of the revolution and war in reducing income inequality? This column reports new research findings on these questions.
The interlinked crises of climate change, lingering effects of Covid-19 and the ensuing food and energy crises need to be tackled together – and as this column explains, this is best done within the broader context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and in a framework of effective partnerships.
What implications does the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic have for debt and growth in developing countries? This column, originally published by the World Bank, summarises new research evidence on the economic impact of three types of calamities – natural disasters, conflicts and external debt distress.
Do women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa face obstacles in funding their businesses, either from others’ behaviour, such as discrimination, or their own, such as self-selection? This column reports evidence from data collected on more than 6,000 enterprises in six MENA countries, documenting the financial behaviour of both owners and managers according to their gender.
For more than a decade, policy-makers in developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been confronted with high inequality, low growth, rising poverty, and high youth and women’s unemployment. They now face new challenges as well. This column, originally published by the Middle East Institute, identifies some of the most important issues affecting the region, relates them to the results of a recent survey of 12 Arab countries carried out by Arab Barometer, and suggests some pathways out of the current quagmire.