Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016

The report Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality was recently issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Never before has the region had such a large share of youth; youth of ages 15–29 make up around 30 percent of the popu­lation, or some 105 million people. In a region in which 60 percent of the population has not yet reached the age of 30, the report predicts that such youthful demographic momentum will be of critical importance for at least the two coming decades.
Unfavourable development backdrop ,
The report also indicates that the global financial and economic crisis in 2008–2009, coupled with political insta­bility since 2011, have had a negative impact on human development in the region. Average annual growth in the HDI dropped by more than half between 2010 and 2014 relative to the growth between 2000 and 2010.
Growing inequality: Further analysis of HDI data shows also that inequality is rising in Arab countries.
Increasing conflict: 
Home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, the Arab region has witnessed 17 percent of the world’s conflicts between 1948 and 2014, and 45 percent of the world’s terrorist attacks in 2014. In that same year, the region was home to 47 percent of the world’s internally displaced people and 57.5 percent of all world refugees including Palestinian refugees displaced by one of the longest lasting territorial occupations in modern his­tory.
Exclusion and inequality continue to frustrate youth.
Against this backdrop, the Report documents tremendous obstacles young peo­ple across the Arab world are facing in their personal development across the broadest range of institutions, resulting in multiple forms of cultural, social, economic and political exclusion.
High unemployment: Failure to translate gains in education into decent jobs for youth in pace with population growth, not only curtails benefits of a demographic dividend but may fuel greater social and economic tensions in the region as well. In 2014, unemployment among youth in the Arab region (29.73 percent) exceeded twice the global average (13.99 percent), and according to estimates, the situation is expected to worsen in the near future. The report warns that Arab economies may not be able to generate the 60 million new jobs required, by 2020 to absorb the number of workforce entrants in order to stabilize youth unemployment.
Pervasive discrimination against women: Echoing previous AHDRs, the report underlines how deep-seated discrimination, embedded in cul­tural beliefs and traditions in childrearing, educa­tion, religious structures, the media, and family re­lations, along with  many legal obstacles, continues to prevent women from acquiring and using their capabilities to the fullest.
Pathways from frustration to radicalization.
The factors above combine to create an overall sense of exclusion and lack of opportunity that pervades much of the region. The lives of many young people across the region are marked by frustration, marginalization and alienation from institutions and the transitions that are necessary to begin adult life in a fulfilling manner.
Citing recent opinion research, the report asserts that the overwhelming majority of young people in the Arab region have no desire to engage in violent extremist groups or activ­ities. They reject violence and regard extremist groups as terrorists.

However, it notes that the minority that is open to participating in violent groups that claim to struggle for change continue to be active, thus become radicalized and the radical­ized can become violent, violent radicalization and violent extremism grow and are accelerating the tremendous damage they wreak in Arab countries.

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