The historic events of 2011, which have become known as the Arab Spring, brought into sharper focus the need for the international community to work more effectively with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as they address the underlying causes of instability across the region.
In May 2011, the G8, a group of 8 countries with some of the world’s largest economies, of which the UK is a part, launched the Deauville Partnership. The Deauville Partnership is a financial and policy framework through which G8 countries work with Middle East and North African countries and the international donor community, to deliver on the aspirations of the people of the region for greater political and economic participation.
As part of this, the UK’s Arab Partnership, a joint Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) initiative, is providing expertise and support to countries, at their request, as they implement their plans for reform and economic growth. The focus countries are Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco and Libya.
The Partnership is also working with international institutions and the donor community to build a stronger international network of support for long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa.
For example, we are working with the EU as they expand their European Neighbourhood Policy to develop a stronger partnership with the Middle East and North African countries.
Funding for the Arab Partnership is £110 million over 4 years, of which DFID is providing £90 million. This covers:
- (led by DFID) - £70 million for inclusive, poverty-reducing economic growth, through supporting job creation, skills for employment, integrated trade, and effective, accountable institutions
- The Arab Partnership Participation Fund (led by FCO)– £40 million, of which DFID is contributing £20 million, for political reform, supporting free and fair elections, stronger parliaments, media and judiciaries