In the Red Sea, attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on commercial ships continue to disrupt a crucial trade route and raise shipping costs. The threat of escalation there and around flash points in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and now Iran and Pakistan ratchets up every day.

Despite the staggering death toll and wrenching misery of the violence in the Middle East, the broader economic impact so far has been mostly contained. Oil production and prices, a critical driver of worldwide economic activity and inflation, have returned to pre-crisis levels. International tourists are still flying into other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Yet for Israel’s next-door neighbors — Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan — the economic damage is already severe.

An assessment by the United Nations Development Program estimated that in just three months, the Israel-Gaza war has cost the three countries $10.3 billion, or 2.3 percent of their combined gross domestic product. An additional 230,000 people in these countries are also expected to fall into poverty.


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