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Global Financial and Economic Crisis: The Social Impact and Response in ESCWA Countries


Countries of the ESCWA region find themselves today caught up in a global financial, economic and social crisis that is spreading and evolving at a fast pace.   By mid-2009 it has become clear that this crisis is not a transient emergency, and that the economies of the region are not immune to its impact.  The crisis is further compounded by the repercussions of the world food crisis of 2008 and the fluctuations in oil prices in 2008 and 2009.
In this context, ESCWA's Social Development Division (SDD) is organizing a regional meeting of experts on 8 December 2009 to review the social impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the countries of the region.  The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) comes in response to the call by the General Assembly in its Resolution A/RES/63/277 to hold regional consultations, and follows from the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development held in New York between 24 - 26 June 2009 and its resulting Outcome Document
The meeting, which will bring together regional and international experts, practitioners, and UN agency representatives, aims to understand the social impact of the crisis on the different categories of countries in the region, focusing on issues of employment and livelihoods, poverty and the MDGs, and social protection systems. It also aims at exploring policy responses to ameliorate the effects of the crisis on the region's poor and marginalized groups, and identifying a set of recommendations for member countries and ESCWA as a step towards elaborating a socially-responsive national and regional agenda.