The Arab Awakening’s Aftermath

The countries of the Arab Awakening have seen their economies all but decimated over the last two years and they are much more vulnerable today than they were at the height of the 2011 protests, Erik Berglof and Shanta Devarajan argue in a new commentary for Project Syndicate.

In their article, the two economists describe the response of the international community to the economic needs of the Arab Transition countries as piecemeal at best and they call for support to be scaled up.

Specifically they are urging:

• New financial assistance linked to long-term reforms, amounting to $30-40 billion annually for about three years;

• Technical support to ensure that these funds are channeled toward productive public investment in short-term public-works programs that create jobs and longer-term infrastructure projects that ease supply bottlenecks;

• Broad frameworks for trade, regulatory reform, and investment provided by, for example, deep and comprehensive free-trade agreements with the EU;

• Policy and institutional support to restore trust between governments and their citizens, including by eliminating red tape and nepotism in business transactions, enabling poor people to hold public-service providers accountable, and enhancing social protection for the most vulnerable citizens.

Read The Arab Awakening's Aftermath on Project Syndicate.