TEMA: Una década de transformaciones en el mundo árabe

Desafíos árabes de desarrollo: la pobreza, el crecimiento y el nexo con el empleo

Khalid Abu-Ismail et al.


The present paper summarizes the findings and recommendations of the first Arab Multidimensional Poverty report which was Launched in September 2017 as part of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The report is the result of a three years collaboration between the League of Arab States' Council of Arab Ministers for Social Affairs, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The primary objective of the report is to convey practical suggestions to step up Arab efforts towards eradicating poverty in all its dimensions and implementing the 2030 Agenda. The present paper summarizes the findings of the multidimensional poverty at household level using a Multidimensional Poverty Index tailored for the Arab Region. The departure points for doing so is the Global MPI, which in turn was revised and adapted via an iterative consultative process with regional and global experts, as well as representatives of governments in the region, all to define poverty dimensions and indicators which are of relevance to the region's social and economic context and challenges. The analysis covers 10 Arab countries which account for 75% of the region's population. Contrary to what was commonly reported for the region, the paper shows that multidimensional poverty is widespread, affecting more than four in ten households in the Arab region, and when using the stricter definition of poverty 13.4% are classified as acutely poor. Furthermore, one quarter is vulnerable to poverty. The analysis shows that inequalities are high spatially (across and within countries) and by household socio-economic characteristics. Across countries, the analysis shows that in middle income countries while poverty levels are below the regional average, a bigger share of the population are vulnerable to poverty. Moving to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) the analysis shows high prevalence of acute poverty. Looking at the main contributors to poverty, deprivation in education emerges to have a primary role. The report concludes by drawing key policy directions covering the areas related to addressing gaps in education, improving social protection systems, investing in children, developing rural areas, and accounting for the challenges and limitations faced in developing the Arab MPI a call is made for a data revolution in the Arab region.


Arab region, arab multidimensional poverty, eradicating poverty, deprivation in education.

Número 15
1er semestre 2017
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