MIT News –
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT is launching a new regional research center in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to focus on innovative research and policy engagement to reduce poverty.
Policy challenges in the MENA region are complex and interconnected: Children in the region have among the lowest learning outcomes, youth and women struggle to find quality employment, women’s agency is among the lowest in the world, environmental and energy resources are strained in many countries, and conflict has left many communities facing displacement and in need of humanitarian assistance.
Between 2011 and 2015, extreme poverty rates in MENA increased from 2.7 percent to 5 percent of the population, making it the only region in the world where extreme poverty rates were going up. The Covid-19 pandemic further compounds these challenges.