OPHI in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), and the Arab League produced the first Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report. The report was launched on the 21st September at the United Nations General Assembly.
The report, that covers 75% of Arab population, indicates that 38.2 millions of Arabs live in acute poverty, and 116.1 millions 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%).
The findings are surprising as multidimensional Poverty is also abundant in oil rich countries. For instance, the findings suggest that more than half of Iraqi families live in poverty.
The Arab MPI recognizes female genital mutilation as a deprivation and includes it as an indicator of poverty. Its incidence is mainly concentrated in the following countries: 92% in Egypt, 86.6% in Sudan, 98% in Djibouti, 19% in Yemen.
The report calls for improving educational gaps, social protection, safeguarding children, rural development and establishing an Arab poverty centre, and recommends countries build their national MPIs to reflect their needs and priorities.