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Arab countries lost US$220 billion due to coronavirus in 2020: Arab League

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit announced Sunday that the combined loss in the gross domestic product of Arab countries for the year 2020 – the first year of the coronavirus pandemic – is estimated at more than US$ 220 billion according to the newly issued Joint Arab Economic Report for 2021

Aboul-Gheit revealed that the report issued recently by the Arab League contains accurate and reliable data on Arab economies.

He pointed out that the total output in the Arab countries at current prices suffered a contraction of 11.5 percent compared to 2019.

During the inauguration of the Arab Sustainable Development Week, held in the Arab League, on Saturday, Aboul-Gheit added that this report indicates that this decline was not witnessed by Arab countries, even in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2009.

“Two years have passed since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, which was a heavy burden, and a severe test for all of humanity. Its effects and scope have exceeded other crises that Arab countries have experienced… We were not accurately aware of the economic and social consequences of this pandemic, but the initial indicators available to us are negative and worrying at the Arab level.”

“These burdens have increased the complexity of challenges that the Arab region was facing before the pandemic, and have even contributed to the worsening of the situation in countries that suffer from conflicts and those that are in the throes of difficult political crises, and I especially mention here Tunisia, Lebanon and Sudan.”

“Despite these circumstances and obstacles, I still see that we have the opportunity to influence the course of events and push again the path of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to restore the gains we made before the pandemic,” he continued.

“I renew from here my call to all international partners and financial institutions to increase allocations to the Arab region so that it can fulfill its obligations before 2030,” he concluded.

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