Knowledge Note

Civil wars and violence have significantly damaged human, social and physical capital in the war-torn countries of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. The results on educational attainment are devastating. Estimates by the UN show that more than 13 million children are out of school in these countries.The World Bank is currently undertaking a similar assessment for Yemen with the collaboration of UN agencies, the European Union, the Islamic Development Bank, and country authorities. The preliminary estimates, based on data as of October 31, 2015, show the damage in four cities--Sana’a, Aden, Taiz and Zinjibar-- over six sectors – education, energy, health, housing, transport, and water and sanitation-- to be in the range of USD 4.0 – 5.0 billion.An end to the conflicts in MENA will improve macroeconomic indicators through restoring security, increasing investment, and the commencement of reconstruction activity. Social indicators will also improve with growth as well as by the shifting of public resources from military expenses to education and health. All in, a peace settlement in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, therefore, could lead to a swift rebound in oil output and exports, allowing them to increase fiscal space, improve current account balances, increase foreign reserves, and boost economic growth in the medium term. This can bring positive spillovers to the rest of the region.

About the Presenters

Lili Mottaghi