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Arab spring cost for the Middle East

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ESCWA’s $614bn figure equal to six percent of GDP of regional economies from 2010 Tunisia protests to end of last year

The so-called Arab Spring of 2011 has cost the region’s economies an estimated $614bn of growth because of governmental changes, continuing conflict and falling oil prices, according to a UN agency.

The figure from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), equivalent to six percent of GDP up to the end of last year, is based on growth projections made before the revolutions started.

Published on Thursday, it is the first estimate of its kind by a global economic body.

In December 2010, protests broke out in Tunisia which led to the first of the series of revolutions that became known as the Arab Spring, which later toppled four leaders and mired Yemen, Syria and Libya in war.

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