IFAD and the League of Arab States
Poverty poses a constant threat to economic growth, trade reform, private sector development, knowledge, governance and gender equality. Poverty among the 22 members of the League of Arab States (LAS) is primarily a rural phenomenon. A quarter of the region’s population, or about 80 million people, live below national poverty lines. Between 60 and 70 percent of these poor people live in rural areas. One of the most pressing challenges in the region is the high rate of unemployment, particularly among young people. Official unemployment rates average 13 per cent, and in some countries the jobless rate among young people is twice as high.