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    World Bank's Outlook: Wars Destroy Countries in Middle East

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    Middle East
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    The World Bank has published its 2015 economic outlook for the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). According to the document, numerous military conflicts led to the decrease of the regional gross domestic product to 2.6 percent.

    The consequences of wars and military conflicts have a devastating impact on the region's economies. According to the report, civil wars, terrorist attacks and low oil prices are the main reasons for the economic downturn.

    As the World Bank announced last Thursday, MENA countries can count only on a slight increase in gross domestic product (GDP). The outlook for the future remains "cautiously pessimistic".

    Numerous conflicts are a huge burden for the countries of the region. They are keeping away foreign investors and result in the increase in military spending, even despite declining oil revenues. The trade and tourism industry are also suffering the consequences of war and terrorist attacks, the report stated.

    According to the World Bank, oil prices are likely to remain at a low level.

    "At oil prices around $30-35 p/b this year, MENA oil exporters are losing fiscal revenues. Saudi Arabia will lose another $55 billion in 2016 in addition to the $110 billion loss in 2015," the report said.

    According to the outlook, the civil war severely affected the economies of Syria and Iraq: per capita income in these countries declined by about 23-28 percent. Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt also have to bear losses of the military conflict and are facing a decline in their gross domestic product close to $35 billion.

    The report also touched upon the indirect economic consequences of the conflicts such as malnutrition, destruction of infrastructure or lack of education.

    "A preliminary World Bank-led assessment of damage in six cities in Syria showed an estimate of $3.6-4.5 billion as of end 2014," the World Bank stated.


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