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Middle East and North Africa

IDRC’s Middle East and North Africa office in Cairo, Egypt, manages our activities in the region.

Every day, the region struggles with instability and conflict. Local economies are under strain, and for the most part, they rely too heavily on the oil industry. Many countries are depleting their natural resources at rates well above sustainable levels. Desertification, water scarcity, and food security are major concerns — and serious water problems remain unresolved.

Like the rest of the developing world, the Middle East and North Africa region is in search of answers. Our programming is designed to empower countries in the region through knowledge. Our support strengthens their ability to confront development challenges and find solutions — from Algeria to Yemen.

Latest Project

Tax solutions for optimal reduction of tobacco use in West Africa

During the first phase of this project, numerous decision-makers were engaged and involved in discussions with the goal of establishing a new taxation system to reduce tobacco use in West Africa. Although regional economic authorities (ECOWAS and …

Latest Result

Turning palm leaves into wood: Opportunities for Egypt’s rural communities

​In Egypt, palm trees are found in abundance and in various species. Farmers use them as shade on a hot summer day or harvest their sweet date fruits. Bedouin women weave handmade baskets, hats, and lamps using dried palm leaves. The potential uses...


Open Development: create, share, engage


Open development is the free, networked sharing of digital resources for use in broader processes of social transformation. Digital technologies and networked platforms that leverage open source software and open data are empowering people to...

Boosting women's economic and social participation in the Middle East


Women’s participation in society, the economy, and politics in the Arab World was the focus of a conference hosted in collaboration with IDRC in Cairo, Egypt, October 24-25, 2015. The event, organized by longtime IDRC grantee, the Economic...


Harnessing data for social and economic impact in the Arab world


Using data effectively has great potential for Arab countries. While the concept is still relatively new to the region, there is a growing interest among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to better understand the value of data. IDRC...

Highlight: Examining research funding in Arab countries


​IDRC brought together senior managers from research funds and granting councils in 12 countries to share their experience on rallying domestic research efforts and organizing competitive calls for proposals.  Expected results Research funders seek...

Lasting impacts:
Middle East and North Africa

Here are a few examples that show how IDRC-supported research in Middle East and North Africa has improved lives.
Knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world
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