COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment
The MENA region includes Arab states of the Gulf region such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Iraq as well as the other MENA states - Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, with an addition of the three African countries, namely Libya, Djibouti and Egypt, as well as Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. These countries and territories differ significantly in terms of healthcare efficiency, governance capacity and adoption of high technologies within the region and for aligned sub-regions too.
The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Djibouti show a slump in the number of new cases. The United Arab Emirates has had 17% fewer new cases from June 1st to August 16th, than in a similar period from March, 17th to June, 1st, and holds a leading position in the region now with the highest summarized total score, mostly thanks to excellent Monitoring and Detection, the best Emergency preparedness, one of the highest Government Efficiency scores and less national vulnerability. Together with the other Arab states in the Gulf region, except for Iraq, this country is among those with the higher rankings.
Among these countries and territories, the fastest rate of growth of total cases as of August, 16th in comparison to the beginning of the summer (June, 1st) was measured in Libya, Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza. In general the spread of the virus was not so fast in this region especially when compared with the spike in spring. The rest of the states and territories in this macro region typically have much lower rankings. This is so, inter alia, because of the overall unsafe state and limited governance capacity there, including those countries that cannot fully control their borders due to conflicts and the political landscape (such as Syria and Libya), as well as Lebanon, which now faces additional difficulties (data on Lebanon is presented as before the incident in the Beirut seaport).