Until debt tear us apart? International cooperation and socio-economic justice in a post-Covid19 MENA region

Online Debate Series

Online, 22.09.2020 bis 13.10.2020


Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) are co-organising a series of online debates in the Autumn of 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of how international partners can best support MENA countries and the region as a whole in addressing questions of social and economic justice has become more urgent. Even before lockdown, protests against perceived socio-economic injustices including poverty, corruption and cronyism, had erupted in Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan, raising the prospect of a second wave of uprisings a decade after the ‘Arab Spring’. Concerns about socio-economic justice have prompted the Egyptian and Moroccan governments to start discussing issues like exclusion and regional inequalities, and to propose new development strategies. In Libya, Syria and Yemen, the three MENA countries most deeply affected by internationalised civil war, discussions of reconstruction, even before the conflicts are settled, have been influenced by the interests of foreign powers, rather than the people of the countries concerned.

For international development actors, such as the international financial institutions, the EU and Germany, the challenges of providing support for socio-economic justice in the MENA in line with agreed development cooperation principles have grown even greater amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The deep recession is likely to further weaken the ability of MENA governments to deliver on their social contracts by providing public goods and services. It is also likely to have long-term effects on important foreign exchange earners such as tourism or remittances from outside the region and to further accentuate vulnerability among informal workers. There is also the prospect that the pandemic may weaken support in Europe for cooperation itself, by increasing fear and further tightening borders.

In this online debate series, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the German Development Institute invite experts to discuss how international development partners best support MENA countries in their recoveries from the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges to socio-economic justice. The World Bank, the EU and Germany have all adjusted their priorities and in some cases launched new strategies and instruments, but are these targeting the right areas, and do they provide support for socio-economic justice in MENA countries?


Hinweis / Please note

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