Population and development report

Development policy implications of age-structural transitions in Arab Countries

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This report shows that the Arab countries are currently undergoing profound age-structural transitions which will have significant implications for their development. It argues that countries can best manage and benefit from the consequences of the age structural transitions taking place across the Arab region by adopting a life course approach in analysis and policy. However, social and economic policies in the Arab countries have not succeeded in integrating this approach. This report therefore suggests reforms across social and economic policy areas, including labour market and social protection reforms, and suggests how the post-2015 UN Development Agenda can integrate a life course perspective. It brings a new urgency to the debate, arguing that transformational change is needed to integrate the needs and potentials of the different age groups in the Arab countries.



Conclusions and recommendations

This report has shown that if Arab countries are to gain the one-off, time-limited development benefits of the age-structural transitions that are already underway, they must commit to undertaking a number of economic and social reforms. In many cases, the need for these reforms is already well-documented; however, the age-structural transitions give them new urgency, as without these reforms, the challenges of youth unemployment and alienation will worsen in the short term, and new problems including old-age poverty will emerge in the future.


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