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LSE Virtual Event: COVID-19 and the Social Contract in North Africa and the Middle East

Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm BST

This LSE virtual event is hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs, the Middle East Centre and the School of Public Policy and features CGD President Masood Ahmed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken many lives and caused significant economic damage in North Africa and the Middle East. For many countries the economic impact - the drops in commodity prices, tourism revenues, remittances, and the capital flight - is hitting even before the virus as taken hold. The region was already very volatile with several open wars, in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and wide-scale economic hardship and political unrest, perhaps most vividly illustrated by Lebanon, but with pressures building across the region. The acceleration of the pandemic will put tremendous pressure on fragile healthcare systems and attempts to lockdown the economies to reduce the spread of the virus will be met with resistance from a very young population already suffering from a lack of opportunities. This panel will take stock of what we can expect from this combustible combination of economic, political and social factors over the coming months. What can Europe do to avoid this becoming a series of cataclysmic events with huge loss in life that will eventually spill over onto the continent?

Masood Ahmed, President, Centre for Global Development and former Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF.

Professor Melani Cammett, Government Department, Chair of the Academy of International and Area Studies, Harvard University.

Professor Stephen Hertog, Government Department and the Middle East Centre, LSE.

Khalid Abdulla-Janahi, Chairman, Vision 3 and former Deputy Chair of the World Economic Forum Arab Business Forum.

Professor Erik Berglof, Director, Institute of Global Affairs, LSE School of Public Policy.

This event is part of the LSE Series on COVID-19 Crisis Management and Post-Crisis Reconstruction - lessons from the past and early insights from the current crisis.

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Photo of Masood Ahmed