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Protracted Conflict and Development in the Arab Region: Trends and Impacts in Conflict Settings, Issue No. 4

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The Arab region is presently beset by armed civil conflict, one of the most profoundly devastating social phenomena in the modern world. This study examines the relationships between conflict and development. Today, at least half of the Arab States are affected directly or indirectly by armed conflicts of varying intensity, yet little is known about the effects of conflict on household behaviour and poverty.

The study examines the mounting evidence from conflict-affected countries, which suggests that conflicts seriously undermine citizens’ health and welfare, economic growth, political systems, and respect for human rights. Furthermore, it highlights a number of significant development challenges facing the Arab region, including an ever-increasing refugee population and a youth bulge. The study advocates that these factors could prove particularly problematic for Governments that are increasingly unable to generate employment and dignified livelihoods for youth. While, in general, there is no statistical effect of unemployment rates on conflict, this study confirms the significant relationship between unemployment, lack of opportunities for youth and conflict intensity in the Arab region. Growing conflict intensity is inseparably linked to increasing levels of unemployment.