COVID-19 Deaths

in the MENA region

Infographic, January 2023
Nonresident Fellow

January 5, 2023

COVID-19 Deaths in the MENA Region

Paul Dyer, Andrew Letzkus, and Isaac Schaider

The visualization below tracks cumulative deaths officially associated with COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries over the 2020-2022 period on a comparable per capita basis. It shows an initial spike in COVID-19 deaths in Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf states, reflective of early outbreaks of the virus in these countries. Over time, official deaths would grow in Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia, with pronounced COVID-19 mortality rates documented in each of these countries. Overall, however, the official number of deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic across MENA has remained low in both total and per capita terms relative to other regions. In part, this may be due to the youthful nature of MENA’s population and the relative strength of healthcare systems in countries like the Gulf states. On the other hand, in countries where deaths officially associated with COVID-19 remained particularly low, it is likely that many COVID-19 deaths were given an official cause of death related to underlying comorbidities like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.