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UNDP-IQ- Samia and Andreas Ghareeb in their home in Karamles, Iraq

Challenges in the Arab States

The Arab region is the only region in the world where poverty has increased since 2010, based on the extreme poverty headcount (population whose income is less than USD 1.25 per day). In 2010, 4 percent of the population of the Arab region was living below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 per day, while 40 percent were living below USD 2.75 per day.

With rapid population growth in the Arab region —crossing the threshold of 400 million in 2016— a predominantly harsh arid environment, and many protracted conflicts, food insecurity has become a major challenge for many Arab countries.

Despite an increase in the average Food Production Index from 82.6 in 2000 to 118.8 in 2013, several Arab countries continue to face serious problems in agriculture production, due to limited economic resources, low technology levels, limited crop patterns and environmental limitations

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Addressing Challenges  

UNDP works with national and international partners in order to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and the substantial reduction of overall poverty. Our collaboration with national and local authorities in many countries of the region gives priority to the following activities:

  • developing and implementing national poverty reduction strategies;
  • conducting poverty assessments and cross-country comparisons to build actionable awareness of the status and dynamics of poverty;
  • assessing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals;
  • developing specific socio-economic policies aimed at enhancing pro-poor strategies for human development;
  • strengthening institutional capacities in poverty analysis and pro-poor policy formulation capacities;
  • advocacy, communication and Knowledge networking and sharing of good practices in poverty reduction;
  • technical assistance and capacity support to promote and expand private sector ventures; and
  • strengthening capacities of civil society organizations to contribute effectively to development, strengthening participatory governance, and fostering inclusive participation and national ownership.

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