The economic and security implications of COVID-19 in the Middle East

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You can also listen to the live event podcast below.

The substantial impact of COVID-19 and the corresponding oil price plunge in the Middle East could deepen economic cleavages within and between states. As the virus spreads, draconian containment measures have been put in place by many governments in the region. However, most health systems are not equipped to deal with a large outbreak due to the lack of medical facilities and the internal divisions brought about by conflicts and insurgencies.  With three-quarters of the countries in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia reporting cases of COVID-19 and some facing a major outbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a significant challenge in the region.

The worst affected economies are those of already fragile states, such as Yemen and Lebanon. Notwithstanding the human costs, the impact would be felt most on the economic front as capital markets tumble and tourism and remittances decline. With poverty levels increasing and governance failures exacerbated, there are growing concerns that the region would be more exposed to re-emerging conflict.

In this webinar, speakers discuss the policy options and priorities for the leaders of the MENA states and explore how countries can mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19, strengthen their health systems, and increase coordination and cooperation between countries.

When: 14:30 – 16:00, Wednesday, 6 May