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publicationJanuary 18, 2023

Land Matters: New Report Highlights Deepening Land Crisis in MENA Region

Land Matters: New Report Highlights Deepening Land Crisis in MENA Region

Download the report in: English | عربي

The growing challenge of land scarcity, exacerbated by population growth and the impacts of climate change, threaten economic development in the Middle East and North Africa region.

A new World Bank report, "Land Matters: Can Better Governance and Management of Scarcity Prevent a Looming Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa?", highlights how weak governance is contributing to the inefficient and unsustainable use of land. Indeed, access to land is a severe constraint for both people and businesses in the MENA region.

The report proposes a series of reforms, including the adoption of transparent market-driven processes to value and transfer land, as well as the creation of complete inventories of public land and improvements in the registration of land rights. Steps such as these could support more efficient land use and land management decisions and ensure that land serves social, economic and fiscal functions in a region where property taxes represent less than one percent of GDP. Moreover, sensible land policies could also reduce gender inequalities and promote women’s empowerment.

In a nutshell, the report stresses that “land matters” and that it is time to openly discuss and address land issues in policy debates in the MENA region. Addressing the land crisis will help countries move towards a path of more sustainable and inclusive growth.