13.4% of Arab Countries’ Populations Live in Acute Poverty

A general view of a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017
A general view of a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017
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13.4% of Arab Countries’ Populations Live in Acute Poverty

A general view of a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017
A general view of a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017

A report published this month estimated that the number of poor people in 10 Arab countries was 38.2 million, which represents 13.4 percent of the Arab population.

The first Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report was co-authored by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the Arab League, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

Launched on September 21 at the United Nations General Assembly, the report covers 75% of Arab population. It also indicated that 38.2 millions of Arabs live in acute poverty, and 116.1 million in moderate poverty – that is a staggering 40.6% of the population studied.

The report divides regions into 3 groups, the poorest countries are Mauritania, Yemen, Sudan, and Comoros. The poorest countries have 42.6% of their households in acute poverty and nearly three-quarters in moderate poverty (72.7%).

Among the countries covered were Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Sudan, and Iraq.

In addition to the existing poverty rate, another quarter of the population is vulnerable to domestic poverty, the report said.

Multidimensional poverty is widespread, affecting more than 4 in 10 families and children, it added.

The report's analysis of poverty in Arab countries shows that it is concentrated in some geographic regions. The percentage of the poor is higher in rural areas and in households where the head of the household is not educated.

The poorest 15 provinces or states in 11 Arab countries (after adding Palestine to the report) are located in only 3 countries: Sudan (9 states), Mauritania (5 states) and Yemen.

Poverty among children in rural areas is about 55 percent, 1.8 times over that of children living in urban areas.

The report pointed out that the issue of child poverty is vital to the Arab region, as the population of minors represents more than a quarter of the total population.

The multidimensional poverty index measures non-monetary deprivation in all its aspects, painting a more accurate picture of the situation.

The report calls for improving educational gaps, social protection, safeguarding children, rural development and establishing an Arab poverty center.



German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
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German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights

Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck said during his visit to China on Saturday that the European Union's door is open for discussions regarding EU tariffs on Chinese exports.

"What I suggested to my Chinese partners today is that the doors are open for discussions and I hope that this message was heard," he said in his first statement in Shanghai, after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Reuters reported.

Habeck's visit is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed hefty duties on imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) to combat what the EU considers excessive subsidies.

Habeck said there is time for a dialogue between the EU and China on tariff issues before the duties come into full effect in November and that he believes in open markets but that markets require a level playing field.

Proven subsidies that are intended to increase the export advantages of companies can't be accepted, the minister said.

Another point of tension between Beijing and Berlin is China's support for Russia in its war in Ukraine. Habeck noted Chinese trade with Russia increased more than 40% last year.

Habeck said he had told Chinese officials that this was taking a toll on their economic relationship. "Circumventions of the sanctions imposed on Russia are not acceptable," he said, adding that technical goods produced in Europe should not end up on the battlefield via other countries.