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Land and Poverty in the Middle East

Nature volume 162, pages 5354 (10 July 1948) | Download Citation



DURING the Second World War, the Middle East Supply Centre--the history and achievements of which should be made public before memory fades-acted in various directions as a regional authority over an area embracing about fourteen territories, and extending from Persia to Tripolitania, and from Cyprus to Ethiopia. One of its important short-term objectives was to encourage increased food-production in the Middle East territories, to offset the unavoidable restrictions due to war conditions. This immediate objective threw into sharp relief the need for a comprehensive regional survey of the basic underlying problems of the Middle East- in particular, land utilization, peasant economy and social organisation-and this task, among others, was given to an Anglo-American Scientific Advisory Mission, the reports of which have now been published by the Stationery Office* War conditions threw the Middle East territories into close association, and emphasized the fact that they had many common basic obstacles to overcome before any post-war social and economic development was possible.

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