Arab States

Arab States

November 3, 2015

The Fourth Arab Report on the Millennium Development Goals 2013 highlights the progress made by Arab countries in achieving MDGs since 1990 and underlines ongoing development challenges which should be addressed in any post-2015 development framework.

The Arab region has made impressive progress towards some MDGs. But achievements are uneven.

The region lags behind on some important targets, particularly those related to combating hunger. Political, social and economic transitions since 2010 have had significant impacts, including halting or reversing MDG gains in some countries of the region. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) remain behind on important targets, particularly those related to nutrition, food security, access to water and sanitation, and child and maternal mortality.


  • 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.