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Amman, March 2020

AP Photo/Raad Adayleh

Report

Economic and Social Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Middle East and North Africa

| December 2022

Between October 2020 and May 2021, the Middle East Initiative conducted a series of nationally representative surveys to measure the economic, social, and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.1 Designed and supervised by Tarek Masoud, Faculty Director of the Middle East Initiative, and Yuree Noh, Research Fellow, the surveys collected responses from 8,500 residents of seven countries in the region—Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Our goal is to provide the data and insights needed to develop effective policy responses to current and future public health crises.

This report summarizes our findings on how COVID-19 has disrupted employment, mental health, food security, education, and childcare in the region during its first year. We also show that the consequences of the pandemic were felt most acutely by some of the region’s most vulnerable populations: the poor, women, youth, and children.