IMF says Mideast conflicts wiped out gains of a generation

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The International Monetary Fund says conflicts in the Middle East have wiped out development gains for a whole generation and that the international community must be prepared to scale up long-term development aid to rebuild infrastructure and institutions.

The fund said Friday that war and internal strife in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen have worsened already high levels of unemployment and poverty, driven up inflation and damaged institutions.

The IMF report estimated that Syria's economic output is less than half of what it was in 2010, a year before the outbreak of conflict there.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief, wrote in a blog accompanying the report that more than $11 billion in aid pledged for Syria and region through 2020 "would not be enough given the magnitude of the crisis."