Beirut / TEH: The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said Thursday that the year 2023 will witness a rise in the number of poor by 3.7 million people to 126 million in the Arab region, as a result of the war in Ukraine.
This came in a study issued by “ESCWA” in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization “FAO”, the United Nations Environment Program and the World Food Program, entitled “The Effects of the War in Ukraine on the Arab Region”.
She considered that the war in Ukraine, which has shaken Europe and the world since last February 24, has serious social and economic repercussions in the Arab region, especially in low- and middle-income countries that import energy and food.
According to the study, Arab economies are likely to lose about $11 billion in 2022, and $16.9 billion in 2023.
She stated that middle-income Arab countries may lose 2.3 percent of their expected gross domestic product for 2022, while the lowest-income Arab countries will record a contraction of 0.6 percent.
While energy-exporting countries alone, they will see an increase in their GDP by about 0.7 percent as a result of increased demand for energy and higher prices.
With Russia and Ukraine being important import sources of cereals and vegetable oils, “the war has raised food security concerns, as supplies of grain and oil to the region have decreased dramatically.” One of the online magazines, The Eastern Herald.
She explained that the prices of foodstuffs and basic commodities rose significantly. In Egypt, they rose by 17 percent, and in Sudan, grain prices increased by up to 80 percent, while sugar prices jumped by more than 27 percent in Syria.
The study recommended the need to reduce trade barriers, procedures and customs fees, to facilitate trade in food, grains and basic foodstuffs between Arab countries.