Middle East and North Africa

Since the uprisings of 2011, the region has witnessed unprecedented change. This has resulted in uneven growth, economic vulnerability, a fragile democracy, and high unemployment — especially among women and young people.

Across the Middle East and North Africa, local economies are under strain, often relying too heavily on the oil industry. Many countries deplete their natural resources at rates well above sustainable levels. Increased desert areas and food security are major concerns while serious water problems remain unresolved.

Research focus

Like the rest of the developing world, the area is in search of answers — and we’re making advances. For more than 40 years, IDRC has helped researchers and innovators find ways to improve health, reduce poverty, and promote democracy in the area.

Our programming is designed to bring together the right partners for the most impact, in areas such as social and economic policy, the environment, politics and governance, information and communication technologies, and knowledge creation. We are empowering the region to build strong local leadership — both for today and tomorrow.

Regional office

Located in Cairo, Egypt, our regional office coordinates our work in 10 countries and territories in the region.