According to a UN survey released this weekend, the Arab region had the highest unemployment rate in 2022, about 12%.
The Survey of Economic and Social Developments (EASD) in the Arab Region, however, projects a very slight decrease next year to 11.7%.
The Arab region is expected to grow by 4.5% in 2023 and 3.4% in 2024, following a 5.2% growth in 2022.
However, it faces many risks and uncertainties, including fears of a new Covid-19 wave, a most likely continued war in Ukraine, and expanded sanctions against the Russian Federation.
As part of the survey, it warns that poverty levels in the Arab world are expected to increase over the next two years, reaching 36% of the population in 2024 due to dire socio-economic conditions and persistent conflict and political instability.
As a result of the survey, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) notes that 130 million Arabs are also affected by poverty measured against national lines. UN agency warns that more than a third of the region’s population is affected by poverty, excluding Libya and Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
However, the survey also offers good news for the region. Despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian war, the Survey predicts a 3.4% growth rate next year across the Arab world. Inflation rates are predicted to drop to 8% and finally to 4.5% in the next two years after jumping to 14% this year.
Although the repercussions of higher energy prices weren’t the same for all Arab states, they maintain that Gulf Cooperation Council countries and other oil exporters will continue to benefit. Meanwhile, oil-importing nations will face a number of socio-economic challenges, including rising energy prices, food shortages, and a decline in international aid and tourism.
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