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

Maria Sarraf's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
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? 

What is the social contract and why does the Arab world need a new one?

Shanta Devarajan's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Mohamed Elsayyed l World Bank

To development economists (like myself), the uprisings that started in Tunisia and spread to several countries in the Arab world in 2010-11 came as somewhat of a surprise.  For the previous decade, almost all the indicators of economic well-being were strong and improving. 

Morocco’s social contract and civil liberties

Paul Prettitore's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Moroccan Flag - Arne Hoel l World Bank

The Arab Spring and its aftermath have inspired much 
discussion of the social contracts that had defined the relationship between citizens and the state in the Arab world. In the past, the typical social contract of a state in the Middle East or North Africa broadly afforded that citizens would be provided jobs and public services, and presumably political stability, in return for limiting civil liberties that could be used to challenge governing regimes. The political transition in Morocco has provided space for addressing civil liberties in the debate on new social contracts. 

“The dreams that we have are rights for others”: Listening to disadvantaged youth in Morocco

Ibtissam Alaoui's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Sidi Slimane Youth Workshop - I. Alaoui l World Bank

In my years of service with the World Bank, I have never come across such poignant testimony. I thought I had heard it all—everything I could ever know about exclusion, poverty, and vulnerability. But, in Sidi Slimane, a small city in the northwestern center of Morocco, I met marginalized youth who find new ways to express the hardships they are going through.

How innovation is disrupting the energy industry – and what it means for the Middle East and North Africa

Reem Muhsin Yusuf's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Traffic Jam in Casablanca, Morocco - World Bank l Arne Hoel

We are currently witnessing shifts in major industries as a result of rapid technological innovation and industry interconnectivity. The amalgamation between transport and software, for example, has resulted in Google Maps, Waze and Uber, apps that we all interact with to move from point A to B.

Conflict and development: the World Bank Group’s new strategy for the Middle East and North Africa region

Omer Karasapan's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Damascus,Syria - Volodymyr Borodin l

In February 2012, I wrote a blog about the relevance to the Arab revolutions that had swept the region of  the UN’s then recently unveiled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future worth Choosing,” which called for the eventual adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Now three and a half years later, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, , world leaders endorsed the SDGs, an ambitious agenda that aims to end poverty, promote prosperity and protect the environment. 

Think regional, act local: a new approach for Maghreb countries

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly's picture
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 Pichugin Dmitry l

Every organization, no matter how large, needs to pause occasionally and take a good, hard look at itself. It is vital for measuring the gap between intention and achievement, and charting a new course. For the World Bank Group (WBG), this “hard look” took the form of a gathering for three days in Marrakech, Morocco where we listened to voices from the ground, debated and reached consensus on an action plan for a renewed path for the Maghreb Team.

Does legal aid reduce poverty?

Paul Prettitore's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
 Emad Abd El Hady l World Bank

Last week I attended a gathering of legal aid providers, a somewhat informal group mostly from rich countries but with a slowly growing number of developing country participants. Legal aid services—covering public information and awareness, group and individual counseling, and representation by a lawyer—are generally delivered free of charge to the poor and vulnerable, so they can better understand their rights and the procedures to enforce them, and improve their access to formal justice sector services (those provided by courts, other dispute resolution bodies, and lawyers).