Senior IMF official urges more intra-Arab cooperation for speedy recovery from COVID-19

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BEIRUT, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday that Arab countries need to boost their cooperation in different ways to recover from the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic.

“For instance, Arab countries must help each other in securing the biggest number of vaccines which have become conducive to ensure social stability,” Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, said during an online dialogue hosted by the Carnegie Middle East Center.

Dubbed “where is the MENA economy headed,” the dialogue aimed at highlighting challenges facing the Arab region amid COVID-19 outbreak and the steps that must be taken to accelerate recovery from the pandemic.

Azour explained that some countries are not able to secure vaccines before 2022. “These countries must be supported,” he said.

Azour said that countries in the Arab region need five to 10 years to recover from the pandemic by creating 30 million job opportunities for the young people who constitute two thirds of the total population in the Arab world.

The official added that Arab governments must finance small and medium-sized enterprises, increase financial inclusion, and boost social support. Enditem

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