The distribution of poor population in Pakistan suggests that almost 75 percent of the poor are clustered around the poverty line. The economy moved to a higher growth trajectory in the vicinity of 6–7 percent real GDP growth during FY 2002–07, and resultantly the poverty declined substantially in FY 2004/05. The productive capacity of the economy remained alien to this higher growth and new industrial capacity was hardly added to the economy. The fiscal year 2007/08 was a volatile year for Pakistan’s economy both on domestic and external fronts.
Although Afghanistan has made significant gains over the years, vulnerabilities remain. The economic program Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) has been developed to sustain democracy, reduce poverty, and improve growth. ANDS, an important milestone in the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan, serves as its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and uses the pillars, principles, and benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact as a foundation to achieve its MDGs. It has given high priority to the security sector for implementing security policies and strategies and also for building an Afghan National Army for the country's security.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region’s economic performance in the past 30 years has been below potential. This paper takes stock of the region’s relatively weak performance, explores the reasons for this out come, and proposes an agenda for urgent reforms.
Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Tarik Yousef, and Mr. Pierre Dhonte
The working age population is expected to grow faster in the Middle East than in any other region in the world between now and 2015—rising annually by 2.7 percent, or 10 million people. This demographic explosion presents the region with a major challenge in terms of providing jobs, incomes, and housing for the growing population, but the expanding labor force can also be seen as an opportunity to generate higher per capita income growth on a sustainable basis. The paper concludes by emphasizing the importance of market-friendly institutions in turning the challenge into opportunity.