How do Arab economies fare in terms of “Competitiveness”? Are they able to provide prosperity for their citizens? Are they efficient in using available resources?
Developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region spent 5.8 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on health in 2011, compared to 4.4 percent in 1995. On the surface, this rise in health spending may seem like MENA governments are prioritizing health. Yet, between 2006 and 2011 public spending on health as a proportion of government budget in the MENA region was the second lowest globally, after South Asia. As a result, the people are paying the price. Out-of-pocket expenditures on healthcare remained close to 47 percent of the total health spending throughout the period. These trends suggest that increased spending on healthcare is mainly due to increased private spending at the point of service and as such made health systems less fair and affordable for the people of MENA.
This Blog was originally posted on the World Bank Voices Blog.
The National Dialogue is an important moment in Yemen’s rich history. It has brought together political parties, social groups, women, youth, and regional representation around a dialogue to craft the future of Yemen.
In a conservative society where the majority of men believe that the role of women should be confined to domestic work within the household, Yemeni women are attempting to break the chains of social and cultural constraints.
The World Bank Group presents a plan to international donors to help Lebanon cope with the impact of the Syrian crisis.
World Bank Vice President Inger Andersen speaks more about the plan in this video.
Citizen Engagement (CE) is a means to empower citizens and enable them to participate—constructively and effectively—in public decisions. Since January 2011, citizens in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) have asserted their rights for a more inclusive state – a state willing to broker a new social contract that better reflects the aspirations of ordinary citizens who seek equitable progress.
This blog has been co-authored by Michael Clemens and Nabil Hashmi
The recent tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy highlights the risks that many migrants face. For a large number of people around the world moving is still one of the surest ways of expanding their opportunities and improving their lives. The World Bank's International Labor Mobility program has been dedicated to rethinking the current approach to this movement. Our new series, ‘On the Move’ presents new ideas which showcase a sample of this program's approach, with the aim of changing the debate around migration by focusing on ways of promoting the safe movement of people and unlocking its many potential gains.
In a world where “migration is development,” stepping across international borders would offer migrants immediate improvements in income, productivity, and career opportunities. Currently, however, migrants with mid-level skills must take one step back to take two steps forward. As they cross from developing to developed countries, migrants’ resumes, diplomas and work experience suddenly lose value.
There are many people around the world eager to move to locations where employment opportunities exist in labor intensive services, such as agriculture or old age care. Encouraging this kind of mobility could potentially offset labor shortages in receiving countries while alleviating poverty for sending country populations. Sadly, this win-win outcome remains elusive, as willing and eager would-be migrants stay trapped in their own countries.
Manjula Luthria of the World Bank’s International Labor Mobility Program introduces our new series on migration, ‘On the Move.’ For large numbers of people around the world moving is one of the surest ways of expanding their opportunities and improving their lives. ‘On the Move’ aims to reframe the debate around migration by offering a set of perspectives on how to realize its many potential gains.
We invite you to join the debate by leaving us your comments.
On the Move: Labor Agreements (It takes two to Tango)
On the Move: Migrant Skills (Seeing isn’t Believing)
On the Move: The Highly Skilled (Turning “Brain Drain” into “Brain Gain”)
The conflict in Syria, raging into its third year, is devastating the country’s population, economy, and infrastructure. The impact on neighboring countries, while less visible in the media, is nonetheless real and growing rapidly. At the request of Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the World Bank, in collaboration with the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund, undertook an Economic and Social Impact (ESIA) Assessment of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon. The report, available here, was presented to the newly formed International Support Group to Lebanon (ISG) at its inaugural meeting on the sidelines of the recent United Nations General Assembly.