The Third Arab Report on the Millennium Development Goals 2010 and the Impact of the Global Economic Crises
The Arab region has achieved progress in many MDG areas, including significant strides in health and education. However, despite Arab countries’ efforts, there have been setbacks and constraints attributable to several factors, including the relatively poor economic performance in the 1990s and early 2000s, inadequate financing of social policies, and increasing political tensions and conflicts. The Arab region continues to be characterized by sharp disparities between the different subregions, particularly between the high-income countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
These disparities are not only large in terms of level of development but also in terms of progress made towards achieving the MDGs. Indeed, while the GCC countries are on-track in achieving most of the MDG targets, the Arab LDCs, most of which suffer from conflict, together with Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, lag significantly behind, making it unlikely that they
will be able to meet the majority of the targets by 2015. These differences, compounded by wide incountry disparities, are very significant in assessing the impact of the global Food, Fuel and Financial crises on prospects for achieving the MDGs – a focus of this report.