Volume 2013 Number 1
  • EISSN: 2309-3927


This paper focuses on poverty in the MENA region and whether it can be alleviated by intergenerational support within and across households. Intergenerational relations are mediated through several institutions. The most prominent of these are households, state, civil society and market. Combinations of social arrangements, economic resources and cultural traditions govern these institutions. Whether or not family and households can provide the necessary supports for their poorer or disadvantaged members would crucially depend on household composition, its economic resources and its interaction with the institutions of state, civil society and market. This paper also explores the trends in family formation and composition over time and household interaction with the above mentioned institutions through the labour market, or through various state and NGO driven welfare programmes. The above trends as well as migration impact the intergenerational support within families. This paper will argue for improved social support and regional integration in order to complement family resources as well as tackle some of the emerging issues in relation to population ageing and care economy in the region.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Abdelrahman, M. M. 2001. State and civil society relations: the politics of Egyptian NGOs. PhD thesis. The Hague, NL: Institute of Social Studies.
  2. Auer, P. and Islam, R. 2006. Economic Growth, Employment, Competitiveness, and Labour Market Institutions. In: XX Global Competitiveness Report 2006-07. Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan: The World Economic Forum. pp. 105-116.
  3. Bongaarts, J. (2001) Household Size and Composition in the Developing World. New York: Population Council, report no. 144.
  4. Brandsma, J. and Bajourjee, D. 2004. Microfinance in the Arab World. New York: U.N. Capital Development Fund.
  5. Broude, Tomer, 2010. ‘Regional Economic Integration in the Middle East and North Africa: A Primer,’ in C. Herrmann and J.P. Terhechte (eds.), 2010, European Yearbook of International Economic Law, European Yearbook of International Economic Law. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
  6. Cavallo, E. and Izquierdo, A. (ed.) (2009) Dealing with an International Credit Crunch: Policy Responses to Sudden Stops in Latin America. Washington DC: Inter-American Development Bank.
  7. Cole, J. and Durham, D. (2007) Generation and Globalization: Youth, Age and Family in the New World Economy. Bloomington and Indianapolis, US: Indiana University Press.
  8. Financial Times, 2010. ‘The dog that hasn't barked’ in International Business Insight, p. 2. October 22.
  9. Iliffe, J. 1987. The African poor: a history. Cambridge: CUP.
  10. ILO, 2005. World Employment Report 2004-05: Employment, Productivity and Poverty. Geneva: ILO.
  11. ILO, 2006. Employment Poverty Linkages and Policies for Pro-poor Growth in Jordan (1990-2003). Geneva: ILO. Second Draft. Mimeo (restricted document).
  12. ILO, 2009. Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM). Fifth edition. Geneva: ILO.
  13. ILO, 2012. Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012. Geneva: ILO. (Accessed 20 May 2013: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/–-dgreports/–-dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_180976.pdf).
  14. Iqbal, F. 2005. Sustaining Gains in Poverty Reduction and Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
  15. Islam, I. 2005. Managing without Growth: Challenges Confronting the Syrian Labour Market. Geneva: ILO. Unpublished manuscript.
  16. Islam, I. 2009. The Global Economic Crisis and Developing Countries: Transmission Channels, Fiscal and Policy Space and the Design of National Responses. Geneva: ILO, Employment Sector, Working Paper No. 36.
  17. Islam, R. 2004. The Nexus of Economic growth, Employment and Poverty Reduction: An Empirical Analysis. Geneva: ILO.
  18. Karshenas, M. and Moghadam. V. (eds.), 2006. Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa. Basingsoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan and Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development.
  19. Khan, A. 2001. Employment Policies for Poverty Reduction. Geneva: ILO.
  20. Marx, K. 1990. Capital: a Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Ernest Mandel. Harmondsworth (UK): Penguin.
  21. McKinley, T. and Mehran, F. 2006. Strengthening the Employment Impact of an MDG-Based Development Strategy for Yemen. Brazil: UNDP, International Poverty Centre, Country Study No. 4, September.
  22. MENAFN, 2010. http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093365023 (Accessed 8 August 2010).
  23. Messkoub, M., 2006. ‘Constitutionalism, Modernization and Islamization: A Political Economy of Social Policy in Iran’ in Karshenas and Moghadam (eds.), 2006.
  24. Messkoub, M., 2006. Social Policy in Iran in the 20th Century, Iranian Studies, 39(2).
  25. Messkoub, M. 2008. ‘Social Policy in Iran: Islamic or Secular?’ Policy World .
  26. Spring. Published by the British Social Policy Association.
  27. Messkoub, M. 2008. Economic Growth, Employment and Poverty in the Middle East and North Africa. ILO Working Paper Series, No. 19.
  28. Messkoub, M., 2009. ‘The Impact of Global Financial Crisis on Employment and Poverty in the MENA Region.’ Paper presented at the UN-ESCWA expert meeting on the global financial and economic crisis: The Social Impact and Responses in the Region. 8 December, Beirut, the Lebanon.
  29. Messkoub, M., 2011. ‘Crisis, Employment and Poverty in the Middle East and North Africa,’ in Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, Rolph van der Hoeven and Arjan de Haan (eds), 2011. The Financial Crisis and Developing Countries. Cheltenham (UK): E.Elgar.
  30. Mina, Wasseem, 2010. ‘Institutional Reforms Debate and FDI Flows to MENA Region: Is Debate Relevant?’ Http://www.hecer.fi/Conferences/NCDE_2010/papers/Mina.pdf (Accessed 8 August 2010).
  31. Miniesy/Nugent/Yousef. 2004. ‘Intra-Regional Trade in the Middle East: Past Performance and Future Potential’, in H. Hakimian and J. Nuggent (eds.), 2004. Trade Policy and Economic Integration in the Middle East and North Africa: Economic Boundaries in Flux .
  32. Mirkin, B. (2013) Arab Spring: Demographics in a region in transition. Arab Human Development Report Research Paper Series. New York: UNDP.
  33. Osmani, S.R. 2003. Exploring the Employment nexus: Topics in Employment and Poverty. New York: UNDP and Geneva: ILO.
  34. Osmani, S.R. 2005. The Role of Employment in Promoting the Millenium Development Goals. New York: UNDP and Geneva: ILO.
  35. Richards, A. and Waterbury, J. 1990. A Political Economy of the Middle East: State, Class and Economic Development. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
  36. Roudi-Fahimi, F. and Mederios, M. (2007) Challenges and Opportunities – The Population of the Middle East and North Africa. Population Reference Bureau.
  37. Population Bulletin, Vol. 62, No. 2, June. Washington, DC, US: Population Reference Bureau.
  38. Salehi-Isfahani, Dj. (2010) Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa UNDP Human Development Research Paper 2010/26. NY, US: UNDP.
  39. Seccombe, W. (1983) ‘Marxim and demography,’ New Left Review, No. 137.
  40. Subbarao, K. 2003. Systemic Shocks and Social Protection: Role and Effectiveness of Public Works Programs. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, Social Protection Discussion Paper Series.
  41. Sundaram, K. and Tendulka, S.D. 2002. The working poor in India: Employment-Poverty linkages and Employment Policy Options. Geneva: ILO.
  42. Tzannatos, Z., 2009. The Global Financial, Economic and Social Crisis and the Arab Countries: a Review of the Evidence and Policies for Employment Creation and Social Protection. Beirut: ILO Regional Office for Arab States.
  43. UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), 2001. Integrating SME subglobal value chains: Towards partnership for development. Vienna: UNIDO.
  44. UNDP, 2012. Arab Development Report 2011. Cairo: UNDP.
  45. UN, 2013. World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. NY, US: UN Population Division. (Accessed: 8 May 2013).
  46. World Bank, 2009. 2008 Economic Development and Prospects: Regional Integration for Global Competitiveness. Middle East and North Africa Region. Washington DC: IBRD.
  47. World Bank, 2011. World Development Report, 2011.
  48. World Bank, 2013. ‘Trade Integration in the Middle East and North Africa’. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/EXTMNAREGTOPPOVRED/0,contentMDK:22492441∼pagePK:34004173∼piPK:34003707∼theSitePK:497110,00.html. (Accessed: 1 August 2013).

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error