The ongoing conflict between Israеl and Hamas is negatively impacting the economies of surrounding nations, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Kristalina Georgieva. Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, she noted that the economic repercussions were already evident in neighboring countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan.
A surprise attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel on October 7 claimed over 1,400 lives and resulted in 222 hostages, as per Israeli authorities. Israel’s counteraction involved severe air strikes and an almost comprehensive blockade of Gaza. As per Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, the death toll from the war stands at 5,791.
Addressing the potential economic consequences, Georgieva highlighted the impact on tourism-dependent countries and the increased cost of insurance for goods transportation. She also expressed concern over the risk of more refugees in already burdened nations.
The FII, often referred to as “Davos in the Desert”, is an annual opportunity for Saudi Arabia to present domestic economic reforms, which officials say are crucially dependent on regional stability. Despite the current regional unrest, FII attendees praised Saudi Arabia’s capacity to endure shocks and finance reforms using its substantial sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.