The Middle East and North Africa region is referred to as MENA. The population of this area, which includes 19 nations, is around 6 percent of the world’s total. 60 percent of the world’s oil and 45 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves are found in this area.
In light of this, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area is a critical element of the global economy. It’s important to understand the issues in these nations since they provide us with the opportunity to drive our cars and heat our houses.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Nations, or OPEC, includes many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The goal of OPEC is to maintain a steady flow of oil to nations all around the globe.
In 2011, the Arab Spring saw the collapse of many dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Overthrowing tyrants in places like Libya has left their oil supply precarious, impacting global markets.
Oil prices vary widely over the globe, but the people of Libya are not the only ones affected by war in these countries.
15 million people have been forced to evacuate their homes because of the upheaval, and they are now seeking refuge in nations that cannot afford to support them. They are fleeing to Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Djibouti because they are afraid.
Each person who crosses the border into these nations is sensitive and cannot be helped. According to the World Bank, this is the most severe refugee crisis since World War II had ended.
Some nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are now embroiled in civil conflict. As in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, the United States and Russia offer aid to opposing factions in the conflicts that rage there.
As a result of these conflicts, oil output has dropped dramatically in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Some of the world’s largest oil reserves are found in these nations. As of 2015, 5 percent of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) population was living in severe poverty.
MENA nations’ economic growth prospects have dipped as low as 0.6%. This is bad news for the residents of these nations.
The Middle East and North Africa area are in trouble. The absence of oil and natural gas industry employment has left this area in a state of distress. Is anybody doing anything to aid the people of these countries? The World Bank Group has devised a four-pillared strategy:
- Innovating a new social pact
- Regional cooperation
- Migration and refugee crisis resiliency
- Rebuilding and restoring
These pillars have been set up to aid in the maintenance of peace and harmony. Even in nations at war, the World Bank Group has had some success in its endeavors.
Despite the ongoing strife, they were able to continue aiding the Yemeni people. Funding from the U.S. government and other sources has allowed the group to offer lifesaving services and job opportunities for the Yemeni population.
Lebanon and Jordan have received substantial financial assistance from the World Bank Group. They established a program called the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) to support families in need. People may acquire cheaper interest rates and longer grace periods with this form of financing.
The lengthier grace periods allow you to make late payments without incurring costs or penalties to avoid late fees and penalties. Because of it, tensions in the area have been reduced, and individuals may now obtain the aid they need.
Lebanese and Jordanian citizens have received more than $2.5 billion in concessional finance. The economy is benefiting from their initiatives.
Since then, the World Bank Group has expanded its list of pillars to support even more. They added three additional components:
- Using the human capital of the area
- Technology as a tool for building a new digital economy
- The Maximizing Finance for Development Approach to Private Sector Development
People in the Middle East and North Africa are only half as productive as they need to be if they don’t have access to adequate healthcare and education.
The World Bank intends to improve education in these nations so that more individuals can complete their education and find work once they graduate. Helping the area prosper and lifting its people out of poverty is essential.
There are expectations that these nations would learn new technology to compete in today’s world. They believe that stabilizing these nations’ economies would be easier if more people had access to higher education and work opportunities.
As the country’s future leaders, it is thought that providing high-speed internet, education, and work opportunities to these nations’ young people would help them usher in a period of economic prosperity and stability.
It is necessary to develop the MENA nations’ private sector so the region’s hidden potential may be unlocked. The World Bank expects that empowering young people to realize their full potential would positively impact the economies of all countries.
Using Bank-supported policy change, the group has helped the Egyptians obtain private investments in the energy industry worth $20 billion. Think of the possibilities for other nations in the Middle East and North Africa if they had access to that funding!
MENA is often used to refer to the deterioration of Arab-Arab ties. No-fly zones and sanctions have been imposed between Saudi Arabia and Qatar due to the dispute. As a result of these nations’ wars, lives and infrastructure might be devastated to the point of unfathomable pain.
Also See: Mediterranean Countries 2022
The World Bank Group has promised $5.47 billion in pledges to invest in people, the private sector, and digital transformation to meet the high demand and need for assistance in these countries reeling from upheaval and violence.
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