Nurses wait in the corridor of a vaccination center where Algerians get the COVID-19 vaccine, Algiers, Feb.3, 2021 (AP photo by Fateh Guidoum).
Many countries across the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, region have faced critical challenges in ensuring the effective and equitable vaccination of their citizens against COVID-19. With a few exceptions, like Morocco, Israel and several Gulf states, countries in the region have faced difficulties in securing sufficient doses due to logistical constraints, poor planning and vaccine hesitancy. As of mid-August, only 21 percent of the region’s population had received at least one dose, and less than 13 percent were fully vaccinated. This puts the region far behind the developing country average of 36 percent with at least one [...]
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 26, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).
Fears of the collapse of the state are growing in Iraq as the Afghanistan debacle deepens, with each passing day revealing more details about the lack of detailed planning and foresight about the consequences of a U.S. pullout for Afghans.  A similar lack of attention to the crucial American role in influencing events in Iraq could result in a pitched struggle among the competing militias and factions there for control of political power and state resources. Simply put, Iraq’s stability risks becoming an afterthought for U.S. policymakers calibrating a global rebalancing, despite the enormous consequence of instability in Iraq for domestic [...]
President Joe Biden, right, meets with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 25, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).
Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Middle East Memo, which takes a look at what’s happening, what’s being said and what’s on the horizon in the Middle East. Subscribe to receive it by email every Monday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it.  The return of Taliban rule to Afghanistan 20 years after the group’s ouster by a U.S.-led coalition came as a great shock, first and foremost to the Afghan population. Its many flaws notwithstanding, the now-dissolved, Western-backed Afghan central government allowed Afghans to live under a considerably less repressive system than [...]
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