According to the report of the International Economic Group of the Fars News Agency, quoted by Al-Khalij Online, despite the financial resources that the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region have and the efforts they make to reduce poverty and combat unemployment among their citizens, many residents of this The oil-rich region continues to suffer from poverty.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) announced in a statement on May 24, 2023 that 3.3 million citizens living in the Persian Gulf live in poverty out of a population of 34 million in this region (excluding immigrants), and Saudi Arabia and Oman In terms of population, the poor are at the top.
According to the statement, one in seven citizens of Saudi Arabia, which is equivalent to 13.6 percent of the country’s population, lives in poverty, while in Oman, one in ten citizens or 10.1 percent of the population. And in Bahrain, one out of 13 Bahraini citizens, equivalent to 7.5% of its population, live in poverty.
On the other hand, the poverty rate in Kuwait, UAE and Qatar is less than 2% of the total population.
According to the SCWA statement, one third of the population of the Arab world, equivalent to 130 million people, are below the poverty line, and these levels are expected to continue to increase over the next two years to reach 36% in 2024, and the Arab world has the highest unemployment rate at 12%. registered in the world in 2022.
Inflation in the Arab world rose to 14 percent in 2022, but is expected to slow to 8 percent and 4.5 percent in the next two years, respectively.
Rola Dashti, executive secretary of “ESCWA”, describes the level of income or expenditure and its distribution among the population, the two main factors in increasing the poverty rate and emphasizes that the expenses of the 10% of the richest citizens of the Arab Gulf region are 16 times more than the 10% of the poorest. it is them
Dashti emphasized the need to carry out financial reforms in the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, including the creation of a fair and just tax system, reforming land allocation policies and public facilities, and reforming subsidy policies to help low-income groups.
This UN official called for improving targeting in social support plans, reducing deprivation related to access to affordable housing, guaranteeing access to basic infrastructure and providing quality health and education services.
Economist Mustafa Abdul Salam wrote in an article on May 26, 2023, in which he said that eradicating poverty in the Persian Gulf countries requires many steps that can improve the use of financial resources.
He added: This requires diversifying economic activities and not focusing on the oil and gas sector, supporting the private sector as the primary provider of job opportunities, and reforming the government’s support system in such a way that it is directed towards the weaker sections and income groups, not to Rich families should be pushed.
According to this economic expert, the people of the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf should benefit from the huge wealth that their country has deposited and invested abroad and recover part of the funds accumulated in Western banks, provided that they are directed towards the creation of projects that Through it, job opportunities will be created and unemployment will be reduced to help reduce poverty.
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