Governments Simply Cannot Do It Alone – How Philanthropy Can Drive Development in the Arab World
The Arab world has long suffered from a wide spectrum of socio-economic challenges and conflicts. Three statistics demonstrate these acute challenges beyond doubt: 1) two-thirds of the region’s population is either poor or vulnerable to multi-dimensional poverty, 2) the region’s youth unemployment rate has hovered at almost 30% for two decades with no progress, remaining the highest in the world, and 3) it produces 32% of the global population of refugees and 38% of the global population of internally displaced people, while accounting for only 5% of the global population, causing severe consequences for their future and the future of the region. How can we change this?
The urgency of addressing the short and long-term impact of the region’s humanitarian crises cannot be overstated. The Arab region must begin investing more effectively in human development and governments simply cannot do it alone. Massive resources are needed just to recoup the losses in development overall. Taken alone, recouping the loss in education is a mammoth undertaking that requires extensive resources.
There is no doubt that the largest investment will and should continue to come from national governments themselves. International assistance is also needed to mitigate the impact of conflict on poorer countries. At the same time, in a region historically blessed with a culture of philanthropy, philanthropic investment needs to be better mobilized alongside government resources to address the biggest development challenges the region is facing.