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Sahel faces poverty and conflict traps: a call for international action

By Jaime de Melo Conditions in the so-called G-5 countries of the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – are grim. This Brookings column from late 2016 summarises a ... read more

Extreme poverty in Arab states: a growing cause for concern

ByKhalid Abu-Ismail and Bilal Al-Kiswani Extreme poverty is rising in Arab states and the outlook is concerning. This column outlines the latest figures and the implications for policies to promote.. ... read more

Inequality in the Middle East

By Facundo Alvaredo , Lydia Assouad and Thomas Piketty Survey estimates suggest that inequality in the Middle East is not particularly high despite considerable political conflict. This VoxEU column uses new ‘distributional ... read more

Asset inequality in Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan and Tunisia

By  Vladimir Hlasny and Shireen Al Azzawi Measures of income or consumption alone provide an inadequate representation of living standards and economic inequality across households. This column reports evidence on.. ... read more

Time to rethink inequality in Arab states

By Khalid Abu-Ismail and Racha Ramadan There are many gaps in our understanding of trends in both money metric inequality and multidimensional inequality in Arab states. This column previews a.. ... read more

Subsidy reforms and social justice: lessons from Egypt

By Paul Makdissi For institutional and historical reasons, countries of the Middle East and North Africa have relied mostly on consumption subsidies for reducing inequality..more

Poverty reduction efforts in Iran: the wrecking force of inflation

By Ali Enami and Nora Lustig Iran’s universal cash transfer (UCT) programme plays an important role in fighting poverty. But as this column shows, its real value and impact on the country’s ... read more

Is the Middle East the world’s most unequal region?

By Lydia Assouad Survey-based estimates suggest that inequality in Middle Eastern countries is not particularly high by historical and international standards. This column reports research that combines household surveys, national accounts,.. ... read more

Tax reform for equity and fiscal space in middle-income Arab countries

By Niranjan Sarangi and Khalid Abu-Ismail Arab countries have systematically low tax collection rates relative to the size of their economies. What’s more, with rising military expenditures and lower oil prices, the ... read more

Multidimensional poverty in the poorest parts of MENA: agenda for action

By Khalid Abu-Ismail and  Bilal Al-Kiswani A new measure of household poverty in the Arab countries provides the basis for tailored solutions across the region. This column reports the key findings of ... read more

Financial inclusion, financial stability and inequality

By Simon Neaime Are programmes aimed at promoting financial inclusion in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) leading to less poverty and income inequality and more financial stability? ... read more

Microcredit: choosing between inclusion and impact?

By Ralph De Haas The microfinance industry continues to grow rapidly in the MENA region. This column reports research from across the world showing that giving people access to microcredit does not ... read more

Inequality underestimated in Egypt: evidence from house prices

By Roy Van der Weide, Christoph Lakner and Elena Ianchovichina Standard estimates of income and consumption inequality rank Egypt as one of the world’s most equal countries. By analysing data on ... read more

An agenda for reducing income inequality in the Arab countries

By Khalid Abu-Ismail What can be done to reduce income inequality in Arab countries? This column explores issues of measurement as well as potential policy measures... ... read more

Live Debate on: Free Higher Education and Equity

Keeping in tune with changing economic thought on education strategies and policies, ERF and The Tunisian Economic Association are organizing a live debate on: Free Higher Education and Equity: Does ... read more

Structural Transformation is Key for Poverty Reduction in Arab Countries

By Khalid Abu-Ismail, Chief of the Economic Development and Poverty Section at UN-ESCWA. The long-term development vision for the Arab region should address the core challenge ... read more