Almost two years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still faced with its harsh political, economic, and social consequences. The Middle Eastern and North African economies experienced a strong economic recovery in the second half of 2021 and additional growth is forecasted to increase to 4.4 % in 2022. However, uncertainties and challenges are still looming over the prospective economic recovery of the region. The situation of each country is individual in that it differs depending on the level of exposure to oil price fluctuation and the control of the pandemic through the rollout of vaccines. Major asymmetries emerged in the recovery of labor markets and the region continues to face common challenges, including high unemployment, in particular for youth, and limited social protection. Finally, the rapid spread of Omicron poses new questions on the resilience of the economic recovery. What is to be expected for the MENA region in 2022? Which are the major opportunities for growth and reform and which are the main risks?
Ekkehard Ernst, Chief Macroeconomist, International Labour Organization
Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank Group
Sara Bazoobandi, Associate Research Fellow, ISPI; Marie Curie Fellow, GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies