In its regional economic update report released Thursday, the World Bank expounded that the performance of oil importing countries (OICs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been dominated by the recovery of Egypt’s economy, which accounts for more than half of this group’s GDP.
Meanwhile, the report estimated the cumulative cost of the pandemic on the MENA region’s GDP in 2021 is expected to be around $200 billion.
“These costs are calculated by comparing where the region’s GDP would have been if the pandemic had not hit. According to the report, the region’s GDP contracted by 3.8 percent in 2020 and is forecast to grow by 2.8 percent in 2021,” according to the report.
The report also projected the MENA region’s GDP to grow by 4.2 percent in 2022.
The World Bank also predicted that most MENA economies will not reach pre-pandemic levels of GDP per capita, adding that the recovery process will be uneven because the region-wide estimates mask differences across and within countries.