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Labor and Social Protection

Business regulations in Lebanon: where are we? where do we go now?

Jamal Ibrahim Haidar's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
                      World Bank | Emad Abd El Hady

During my time in Lebanon last summer, I convinced a close friend, Maroun, to start a small manufacturing firm for producing soap and shampoo. Eventually, he got the business off the ground, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. I witnessed the pain that Maroun had to go through to formally register and set up his business.

Jordan NOW: randomized experiment designed to boost female labor force participation

Matthew Groh's picture
Also available in: العربية

        World Bank

The low participation rates of women in the workforce in the Middle East and North Africa, lower than any other region in the world, has puzzled analysts for some time. A number of competing causes have been identified, ranging from Islam and geography to natural resource wealth and the character of MENA institutions. Yet what’s missing from the debate so far is an analysis of the microeconomic constraints limiting women from entering the workforce.

What I told your Finance Ministers: don’t lose sight of your priorities

Steen Jorgensen's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

       

It has been too long since I last wrote about the jobs situation in the Middle East and North Africa, and an account of what actually happened when I met your senior financial authorities at the World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo is long overdue.

Education in Egypt: inequality of opportunity across three generations

Lire Ersado's picture
Also available in: العربية

        Kim Eun Yeul

The political transition in Egypt has gone through many phases, but the ability to deliver on the demand for bread, dignity, opportunity and social justice that epitomized the 2011 revolution will continue to stand as an arbiter of its ultimate success. This will be especially apparent in the distribution of economic opportunities and how they are shaped by public policies.

Tunisia’s window of opportunity is still open, for now

Antonio Nucifora's picture
Also available in: Français
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Last Thursday I had dinner with my friend Youssef. He told me he was disappointed with the way things were turning out in his country. A young Tunisian educated at the Sorbonne, Youssef took leave from his cushy management consultant job to volunteer for the government after the revolution. Like Youssef many Tunisians feel disillusioned. I replied that now is the time to redouble the efforts.

The Palestinian private sector: resilience in the face of harsh conditions

Layali H. Abdeen's picture
        Izumi Kobayashi

I recall the first time I visited Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investments Company fields at Jericho two years ago, when MIGA was still at the early stages of underwriting the project constituting planting date trees. The land was empty and, at the first glance, the first thought that came to mind was “how can this be developed into arable land?”

NOW is the time to bring MENA's poor Into the net

Joana Silva's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Jenny Matthews | Panos Pictures

Across MENA countries people are striving to improve their livelihoods in the face of multiple risks, ranging from economic crises, conflict or natural disasters, to unemployment, disability, and illness. For them, institutions that offer a chance to escape poverty and help build their resilience to crisis are essential. Key among these institutions are safety nets. This historic moment inspired our team to prepare the forthcoming report Inclusion and Resilience: The Way Forward for Social Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa.

The rhythm of empowerment: female rappers from Morocco to Gaza

Amina Semlali's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Rapper Shadia Mansour. Photo credit: Ridwan Adhami

“It’s messed up, I had to lose an eye to see things clearly” Alia said, shaking her head. My charismatic and confident classmate then carefully tucked her hair under her veil. “Bushwick Bill?” I asked. She smiled and showed off her perfect row of teeth. “Yes!” She seemed pleased, yet slightly embarrassed that I had noticed that she was quoting an old-school rapper.

West Bank and Gaza: knowledge as a pathway for dignity

Angelica Thumala's picture
Also available in: العربية

        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Similar to their peers around the world, young Palestinians do equate schooling with the prospect of getting good jobs. But what is most striking is that education has become a source of self-worth and social recognition. In the words of one young man from Old City in Hebron, “When you have a degree you have your respect wherever you go.”

Working in fragile states like Yemen is for more than salmon fishing

Wael Zakout's picture
Also available in: العربية
        Smilie

The other day I was in a car going to a meeting with Yemen’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. A car bomb exploded less than 500 meters from our location, targeting the Minister of Defense. The minister escaped but 12 people were killed and many more were injured. These are only some examples of events that we face in a fragile and conflict-affected state.

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