The economic and political uncertainty that has characterized the Arab region since the uprisings of 2011 continues to dampen its prospects for growth, job creation and stability. Economic expansion remains stalled, with persistently low global oil prices further burdening the regional economy and constraining the growth and fiscal balances of those countries that had been top performers due to energy exports. There has been some progress on social indicators, such as gender equality. However, countries in and affected by political transition and conflict have regressed on a plethora of socioeconomic indicators over the past five years.
The Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region 2015-2016 uses recent data to assess the destructive impact of instability and conflict, including on growth and economic output. It also draws on research by ESCWA on migration, social developments, the impact of conflict, women’s empowerment and specific country-level analysis.