We have been investing in the Middle East and North Africa for more than half a century. Over the years, we have adapted our programs to keep pace with the region's changing needs. Collaborating with leading practitioners, researchers, academics, and policymakers, our team identifies emerging opportunities and develops effective strategies to address a range of pressing issues. Our work has emphasized building institutional capacity, supporting efforts to deepen knowledge and research production, and promoting the growth of networks for inclusive development.
After the foundation opened an office in Beirut in 1953 and in Cairo in 1959, we secured an agreement with the Egyptian government, endorsed by the Egyptian parliament in 1964, to work on Egypt and the wider region. We made major grants throughout the Arab region in the 1950s and 1960s that helped train professionals and build institutions in public administration, economic planning, and family planning. Many early grants also focused on strengthening higher education through research, faculty training, and library acquisitions.
Beginning in the 1970s, we helped organizations engage in local, national, regional, and international efforts to address critical issues, such as food security through improved land and water management, urban and rural poverty alleviation, gender equality, and maternal and child health.
In the 1980s, we built on decades of support to national institutions with grants to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of Diplomatic Training, the Egyptian Information and Decision Support Center at the Prime Minister’s Office, and several other think tanks and research institutions in Egypt and across the region.
Most recently, we have supported a rights-based approach to development, focused on helping low-income and other underrepresented communities—particularly women and youth—overcome exclusion. We have funded efforts to expand access to basic services, the right to work and social protection policies, quality higher education, knowledge of and access to reproductive health and rights, and free expression through the arts. Our grants in Egypt have also contributed to key national strategies to end child marriage and strengthen sexual and reproductive health.
Learn more about our efforts to support growth and development in Egypt.