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Anti-corruption: Tunisia tops transparency in military spending but still “high risk” of corruption in defense

Christine Petré's picture
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Defense budgets are not publicly available, oversight is weak, and information about hidden spending is non-existent, says Transparency International-UK (TI-UK) of defense spending by the 17 governments it has scrutinized in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as part of a new global report. 

Low oil prices give Gulf countries reason to focus on clean energy and productivity

Waleed Alsuraih's picture
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 Shutterstock l  Marynchenko Oleksandr

The 2014/15 oil price collapse may actually provide an opportunity for the Gulf region to focus on “green” economic thinking and on maximizing energy productivity overall. Given their large hydrocarbon resources, the GCC in particular has a large stake in the global transition towards sustainable energy. 

Climate change finds the lost world of Socotra Island

Ahmad Lajam's picture
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Boat trip in Socotra by HopeHill

I wasn’t in Socotra or the southern Yemeni city of Aden when the two cyclones hit them in mid-November, but I have a big family and many friends who live there. As I listened intently to the news, I was thinking about the impact of natural disasters on top of man-made ones, such as conflict, and wondering why poor Yemenis have to pay a price for things they haven’t caused and are not always a part of. 

Why is #COP21 important for the Middle East and North Africa region?

Maria Sarraf's picture
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Cairo - Yeul l World Bank

Over 25,000 people have descended on the Bourget in the suburbs of Paris to attend the much anticipated 21st Conference of Parties on climate change, or “COP21”. The first meeting today is due to be attended by 120 heads of state including 11 from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). But what is the convention about, really? 

Palestine is better than its reputation – debunking the de-development myth

Steen Jorgensen's picture
Also available in: العربية

Have the efforts of the international community and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the twenty years since the Oslo agreement led to improvements in the lives of Palestinians – the answer is yes. Would the results have been even better without the blockade of Gaza, Israeli restrictions and lack of implementation of existing agreements – the answer is also yes.

Can fragility in countries be addressed outside of politics?

Alaa Tartir's picture
Also available in: العربية

Have the ‘good intentions’ of the international community and institutions such as the World Bank hindered progress in countries and territories vulnerable to instability and violence? The case of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) suggests a resounding ‘yes’.

Economic inclusion can help prevent violent extremism in the Arab world

Hafez Ghanem's picture
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Homs, Syria, September 2013. Destroyed a residential area in the city of Homs injured in fighting between rebels of the Syrian National Army

Twin suicide bombers in Beirut were followed the very next day by the coordinated attacks in Paris. These were preceded by news reports that “more likely than not” a bomb brought down the Russian plane over Egypt’s Sinai, together with the claim by a Daesh  (the Arabic acronym for ISIS) affiliate that it was behind that attack. , These attacks underscore the dangers of violent extremism. People of many different nationalities have been victims of violent extremist acts in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America.

The other Arab revolution

Wael Zakout's picture
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Man holding Tunisian Flag - jbor / Shutterstock.com

I just returned from Tunisia, my first ever visit to this beautiful country. It was a touching experience as it is the birth place of the modern Arab Revolution that started in late 2010. Sadly, many of what are called “Arab Spring” countries are now bogged down in terrible and destructive wars that have devastating effects on their people, economy and infrastructure. 

The multiple tragedies of Syria’s displaced women, and why the G20 needs to pay attention

Omer Karasapan's picture
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Roughly half of the world’s 60 million-plus displaced people are female (the 60 million includes 19 million refugees and 41 million internally displaced people (IDPs). This the highest number ever recorded and the numbers continue to rise.

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