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One-third of Arab population lives in poverty: ESCWA

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MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA: Third day of the Eid Al-Adha in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on July 11, 2022. (İslam Yakut - Anadolu Agency)
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Jan 02, 2023 - 01:38 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – One-third of the Arab population lives under the poverty line, a UN body said Saturday.

A report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said that poverty increased in the Arab countries to affect 130 million people.

According to the UN commission, the region’s economy is expected to grow by 4.5% in 2023 and 3.4% in 2024 despite the disruption of the global economy’s recovery.

Unemployment in the Arab region registered the highest rate in the world in 2022 at 12%.

“There may be a very slight decrease in 2023 to 11.7 percent,” ESCWA said.

Ahmed Moummi, the lead author of ESCWA’s report, said despite the region’s positive growth outlook, there are significant discrepancies among countries, which were exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

“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,” he said.

ESCWA is one of the five UN regional commissions, which supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works also on enhancing regional integration.

 

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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