Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS)
The Arab region is urbanizing rapidly. In the past 40 years, the population quadrupled, and will double again in the coming 40 years. Urbanization in the Arab region is influenced by economic disparities within and between countries, as well as natural and conflict-based events causing domestic and international urban migration.
Regardless of their wealth or political structures, Arab cities face a series of common social, institutional, and environmental challenges. 60% of the population is under 25 years old, and high unemployment and a lack of economic opportunities has created widespread poverty and contributed to recent political polarization. Recent political trends have seen the devolution of responsibilities without the essential administrative and fiscal decentralization, which has been detrimental to the efficacy of local government and citizen participation.