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Leaving no one behind: Integrating marginalized groups in some Arab countries

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Unprecedented social progress has been recorded around the world in the past few decades, with significant drops in poverty levels. However, this progress has been uneven as social and economic inequalities persist, or are increasing, in many countries. Marginalized groups still face numerous obstacles that prevent their full and real participation in economic, social, cultural and political life. To assess the situation on the ground in the Arab region, the present report provides three case studies from Egypt (residents of cemeteries in Cairo), Tunisia (residents of Kasserine, Kairouan and Sidi Bouzid in the Midwest region) and Lebanon (residents of the Bab al-Tabbaneh in Tripoli). These areas have endured chronic marginalization and their inhabitants suffer from extreme exclusion, with Government and local authorities ignoring their development needs.

The report is based on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, which underpins the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The international community pledged to achieve prosperity for all, especially the poorest and most marginalized groups. The report also builds on the framework proposed by the United Nations Development Programme to help achieve the 2030 Agenda, entitled “What does it mean to leave no one behind?”. The report also makes policy recommendations to address the exclusion of marginalized social groups, calls for a holistic approach to social policymaking and institutional reform to eradicate discrimination and exclusion, and presents targeted measures to address the fundamental obstacles that prevent the advancement of disadvantaged, marginalized or excluded social groups.