MDG Progress Reports - Arab States

MDG Progress Reports - Arab States

July 21, 2012

The Arab region has achieved progress in many MDGs, including significant strides in health and education. However, there have been setbacks and constraints attributable to several factors, including the relatively poor economic performance in the 1990s and early 2000s, inadequate financing of social policies, and increasing political tensions and conflicts.


This report is a response to a request by the United Nations General Assembly for a periodic assessment of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was jointly prepared by the League of Arab States, the United Nations organizations members of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) and the Regional United Nations Development Group for the Arab States, and coordinated by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). ­

This publication is based on a set of data compiled by ESCWA in consultation with the member countries of the League of Arab States. Data are drawn from both national and international sources, mainly the United Nations Statistics Division Millennium Development Goals Indicators database.


  • Extreme poverty is low in the Arab region, but the 2015 target is unlikely to be met.
  • Around 85 percent of children of primary school age went to school in 1999, and that rate rose to 92 per cent in 2011.
  • Despite women’s strong participation in political demonstrations in some countries in transition, there have been no successful efforts to systematically ensure a greater legislative representation of women.
  • Three out of the four subregions have achieved or are close to achieving the target of reducing the under-five mortality rate by two thirds.
  • Antenatal care coverage is improving across the region, but progress is marginal in LDCs. Efforts are being made to increase the coverage of HIV treatment, nevertheless it is still insufficient.
  • Access to safe water markedly differs between urban and rural areas across the region.