Dr. Nasser Saidi’s comments appeared an article titled “The Middle East is already wracked by war. Now it must confront the coronavirus, too” that appeared in the Washington Post on 16th Mar 2020.
Comments from the article are posted below. The full article can be accessed here.
Oil producers in the Persian Gulf countries will be forced to cut back spending, and countries elsewhere that depend on remittances from expatriates in the gulf region will also suffer, said Nasser Saidi, a Dubai-based economist and former Lebanese finance minister.
Lebanon is in the throes of a financial crisis that has seen its currency collapse amid widespread street protests. Iraq, which depends on oil for almost all its income, will be badly hit at a time when political protests there have rocked the country.
The region will almost certainly slide into recession, Saidi said.
“It means unemployment will get worse. It means socioeconomic conditions will deteriorate. There will be more distress, more social problems and more political protests,” he said. “It’s not a pretty picture for the Middle East.”