Jordan faces five risks in 2022 — WEF report

Risks include debt crisis, unemployment, economic stagnation

1. Empty stores
Shops in downtown Amman closed due to the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown. A World Economic Forum report revealed that the most serious challenge persisting from the pandemic is economic stagnation. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Global Risks Report 2022, which was issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), revealed that Jordan will face five risks this year, including the debt crisis, unemployment and livelihood crises, natural resource crisis, prolonged economic stagnation, and price instability, according to Al-Rai newspaper.اضافة اعلان

Climate risks topped the most prominent global concerns according to the report. However, although the most prominent long-term risks were about climate change, the most important global concerns that followed included societal, work, and living crises, and the decline of mental health. 

The report, in its 17th edition, highlights four new risks, namely cyber security, unregulated migration, migration pressures, and competition in space, as the launch of 70,000 satellites in the coming decades and space tourism raise concerns about the risks of collision off planet Earth, especially with lack of organization. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences still pose a serious threat to the world, as the report indicated that the inequality in vaccination and the outcome of economic recovery threatens to exacerbate geopolitical tensions. 

The Global Risks Report series tracks global risks perceptions among risk experts and world leaders in business, government, and civil society. It examines risks across five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal, and technological.

Every year the report also analyzes key risks to explore further; these could be risks that feature prominently on the survey, those for which warning signs are beginning to surface, or potential blind spots in risk perceptions

The report pointed out that only 6 percent of the population of the poorest 52 countries have been vaccinated, and by 2024, countries with developing economies (excluding China) will see their GDP decrease by 5.5 percent, while countries with developed economies will have exceeded GDP growth expectations by 0.9 percent, which widens the global financial gap. 

On COVID-19 effects, respondents noted that societal and environmental risks have worsened the most since the start of the pandemic, with “social cohesion erosion” and “livelihood crises” taking the top spots. Other risks identified as having worsened significantly are “debt crises”, “cyber security failures”, “digital inequality”, and “backlash against science”.

The most serious challenge persisting from the pandemic is economic stagnation. The macroeconomic outlook remains weak, with the global economy expected to be 2.3 percent smaller by 2024 than it would have been without the pandemic. Commodity prices, inflation, and debt are rising in both the developed and developing worlds.

On the prospects of economic recovery, 89 percent perceived the short-term outlook to be volatile, fractured, or increasingly catastrophic. Fully 84 percent of respondents expressed negative feelings about the future — that is, they were “concerned” or “worried”. Pervasive pessimism could create a cycle of disillusionment that makes galvanizing action even more challenging.

The results of an opinion poll that included about 1,000 business and government leaders and academics revealed that 1 in 6 members is optimistic about the future of the world, coming at 16 percent, while only 1 out of 10 believe that the world’s recovery is accelerating, coming at 11 percent.

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