SDG 10 Background Note
Levels of income, access to resources and services, and political participation vary widely across and within Arab countries, with inequality running along economic, subnational and gender divides (all SDGs). Despite few official inequality indicators, widening gaps among different social groups and areas can be observed, threatening social cohesion and economic and political stability. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated existing inequalities in income and access to services and resources, leaving vulnerable groups at risk of becoming even poorer and more vulnerable in the absence of universal social protection floors. Reducing inequalities requires reasserting the role of the State as the guarantor of equal economic and social rights, and implementing policies to equitably redistribute resources. This is first and foremost a political process. At the national level, it necessitates structural reforms in economies and institutions, and social and legal changes to end all forms of discrimination, supported by global mechanisms (SDG 17).