Outlooks / Economic growth

Jihad Azour: Policies to Help Middle East, North Africa Emerge Stronger

Jihad Azour

November 3, 2020

More opportunities for youth and increasing women's participation will accelerate the region's economic recovery. (iStock by Getty Images/katleho Seisa)

In This Episode

The Middle East and North Africa responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. The latest outlook for the region shows oil exporters, in particular, were hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and a sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Jihad Azour heads the IMF's outlook for the region. In this podcast, he says while containing the health crisis is still the priority, governments must also start laying the groundwork for an economic recovery that will allow countries to emerge stronger.

JIHAD AZOUR is director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department.

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Bruce Edwards

International Monetary Fund

Bruce Edwards produces the IMF podcast program. He's an award-winning audio producer and journalist who's covered armed conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters from all corners of the world. He believes economists have an important role in solving the world's problems and aspires to showcase their research in every IMF podcast.

Rhoda Metcalfe


Rhoda Metcalfe is an independent journalist and audio producer. Her reporting on the armed conflict in Colombia in the late 90s, as well as her work in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa has won several awards. She now produces podcasts and radio features from Washington DC and is a regular contributor to the IMF Podcast program.