In a new report issued this week, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) calls on the Arab States, which are significantly jeopardized by the COVID-19 crisis, to strengthen capacities and build effective and trustworthy institutional structures that can support a new social contract and enable societies to cope with future shocks and disasters.
This new report, entitled: “Arab Human Development Report 2022″ provides key recommendations for actions that need to be taken immediately, to avert further crises in the Arab world.
According to the report, Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said, “Many countries in the Arab States region are still struggling to contend with the devastating socio-economic effects of COVID-19, now compounded by an unprecedented global food, energy, and financial crisis that is being precipitated by the tragic ongoing war in Ukraine.”
“This new report analyses how countries across the region can get hard-won human development gains back on track through concerted efforts in four key areas. That includes building diversified and competitive economies; shaping accountable and responsive governments founded upon the protection of human rights; nurturing inclusive and cohesive societies; and driving forward a green recovery with sustainable human development at its core,” Steiner explained.
Conducted by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), the AHDR 2022 is entitled “Expanding Opportunities for an Inclusive and Resilient Recovery in the Post-Covid Era.” It is the seventh in the AHDR series, marking 20 years of keen analysis of development challenges and opportunities across the Arab States region since the launch of the seminal AHDR in 2002.
The latest report reviews the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on human development across the region, as well as actions taken by the Arab States to contain the outbreak and mitigate its most adverse impacts on people and the economy.
Also in this regard, the AHDR 2022 argues that getting human development back on track in the post-pandemic era will require greater efforts to make governance systems more accountable and responsive, economies more diversified and competitive, and societies more cohesive and inclusive—in order to ensure a resilient recovery for all.
“The Arab States region has been experiencing various vulnerabilities and is notable for a diverse range of development contexts– but the rapid onset of the global pandemic challenged all to varying degrees, presenting new challenges, and exacerbating vulnerabilities. But as the report tells us, vulnerabilities are not our destiny” said Khalida Bouzar, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of RBAS.
“Full of potential and brimming with innovative efforts, the region adopted many positive response measures that could be expanded and scaled up beyond the Covid response. Knowledge and solutions to tackle the region’s challenges exist. Many are known and have been tested and shown to work.”
“Our collective endeavor now is to create the conditions to allow these efforts to blossom and reach fruition,” he pointed out.
The AHDR 2022 asserted that human capabilities and human freedoms are enhanced by accountable and responsive governments, diversified and resilient economies, and cohesive and inclusive societies. Hence, the report’s focus on examining the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and measures adopted to contain its implications across the spheres of governance, economy, society, and the environment—considering underlying long-standing development challenges that the region has struggled with prior to the pandemic.
The report observes that the efficacy of responses to the pandemic across the diverse development contexts in the region was related to levels of institutional capacity and coordination between government agencies, saying “Trust in government is critical to the Covid response.”
It’s worth mentioning that UNDP is the leading United Nations body fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.