UN: 130 Mln People Live Below Poverty Line In Arab Region

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BEIRUT, Dec 30 (KUNA) -- The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) estimated Friday that 130 million people lives under poverty line in the Arab region after recording the world's highest unemployment rate in 2022.
'Excluding Libya and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, more than one-third of the region's population is affected,' reads the ESCWA's annual Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region.
It, moreover, projected that poverty levels would rise over the next two years, reaching 36 percent of the population in 2024.
The survey showed that the Arab region registered in 2022 the world's highest unemployment rate, 12 percent.
It forecasted that the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts would prompt a very slight decrease of the unemployment rate next year to stand at 11.7 percent.
Notwithstanding disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine, the Survey showed an expected 3.4 percent growth next year throughout the Arab region.
While inflation rates jumped this year to 14 percent, they are predicted to drop to eight and 4.5 percent, respectively, in the next two years.
Yet, despite the region's positive growth outlook, Ahmad Moummi, lead author of the Survey, pointed to significant discrepancies among countries which were exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
Noting that repercussions were not the same for all Arab States, he maintained that Gulf Cooperation Council countries and other oil-exporting ones would continue to benefit from higher energy prices.
At the same time, oil-importing nations will suffer from several socioeconomic challenges, including rising energy costs, food supply shortages, and drops in both tourism and international aid inflows.
'The current situation presents an opportunity for oil-exporting Arab countries to diversify their economies away from the energy sector by accumulating reserves and investing in projects that generate inclusive growth and sustainable development,' Moummi underscored. (end)


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