Beirut, 13 December 2017 (Communication and Information Unit) –ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Khawla Mattar today said, “The ESCWA studies should now be followed up on the ground especially that in the last few years conflicts have been mounting in the region. We are not only afraid of what is happening today but also of what would happen tomorrow because of the economic and social roots of conflicts.”
Mattar was speaking at the opening of a media briefing that took place at the UN House in Beirut to launch a recurrent report, the Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region 2016-2017, produced by the Western Asia regional commission.
Mattar delivered a statement on behalf of the Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Mr. Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, to a number of concerned officials and journalists with the participation of the Director of Economic Development and Integration Division, Mohamed El Hacene, and the Chief of the Modelling and Forecasting Section, Mohamed Hedi Bchir.
Mattar said that ESCWA is attempting, through this report, to provide Arab decision-makers with an overview of the most important and current economic and social developments in the Arab region. It is also suggesting solutions that could allow Arab decision-makers to build efficient economic policies for the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mattar added that the report contains a chapter on the effects of the fiscal system’s reform on the economy of regional countries as it contributes to reducing the foreign debt’s percentages. It is also a new source of financing development projects in the Arab region.
“Despite all the economic challenges that the Arab region is facing, Arab economies showed signs of recovery and according to the ESCWA assessments in this report, the economic growth reached 2.5% while it was 2% in 2015 and 1.6% in 2016,” she noted.
“As for the challenges, they are still present such as asylum, internal displacement and poverty. The report also indicates that women in the Arab region are still facing a number of challenges especially when it comes to job opportunities,” she added.
Al Hacene presented the background and importance of the annual survey in addition to the regional economic and social developments.
In turn, Bchir explained the regional effects of the current fiscal reforms. The floor was then open to questions.
The “Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the ESCWA Region” is a yearly study issued by the regional commission in order to analyze the economic and social developments in the period under review and forecast those developments for the following year.
For more info:
The Executive Summary
The Survey’s presentation
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