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Kingdom lost 1.5% per capita due to Syrian crisis — World Bank

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 28,2014 - Last updated at Dec 28,2014

AMMAN — The greater Levant region, including Jordan, has lost $35 billion in income due to the Syrian war and the spread of the Islamic State (IS) group, said a recently released World Bank working paper.

Titled “Regional Economic Effects of the Syrian War and the Spread of the Islamic State”, the paper said Jordan has lost 1.5 per cent per capita due to hosting Syrian refugees since 2011.

“Aggregate incomes [in countries affected by the Syrian crisis] have increased less than population numbers, so standards of living have fallen in general, with per capita incomes declining the most in Lebanon (11per cent) and much less so in Turkey, Jordan and Egypt (1.5 per cent),” said the paper published on the World Bank website.

According to the paper, this loss is a lower-bound estimate of the regional economic cost. 

The estimate excludes the costs of delivering basic services and building infrastructure to accommodate refugees in receiving countries as well as the costs of rebuilding depleted physical capital.

However, the cost of war has been unevenly distributed across the region and within countries, and it has been the most in Syria and Iraq as the average real per capita incomes have declined by about a quarter (25 per cent) relative to the level that could have been achieved if war had not occurred, according to the World Bank.

In previous remarks, Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif said the Kingdom’s economy lost 1 per cent of its gross domestic product due to the Syrian crisis.

He noted that the country’s economy is already burdened with other concerns that include unemployment and development, and “we are trying to deal with these challenges away from the context of the Syrian crisis”.

The challenge of dealing with the impact of the Syrian crisis was worse due to the lack of funds, Saif said, noting that it covered only 30 per cent of what was needed in 2014.

The Kingdom, host to 1.4 million Syrian refugees, has launched the Jordan Response Plan listing projects to be provided for Syrians and host communities in 2015.

The Kingdom needs $2.8 billion to implement the projects in the plan.

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