Developing Scenarios for the MENA region

23rd November 2022
Author: Juliet Millican

Aid, Climate Change, Fragile and Conflict Affected States

Sustainable Development Goals

12.  Responsible Consumption and Production, 16.  Peace and Justice Strong Institutions, 5.    Gender Equality, 8.    Decent Work and Economic Growth

The Middle East And North Africa (MENA) region covers countries at every level of the development journey and existing interests in the region (and hence ODA commitments) speak to conflict/stability challenges.

The region is defined both as 15 and 21 countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen.

Despite rich natural resources in some areas the region is in turmoil with Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen in civil war. More than fifteen million people have been displaced many to fragile or financially unstable countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Djibouti and Tunisia, who are seeing some of the highest numbers of refugees since World War Two.  

Overview of the evidence

Economies during the COVID-19 pandemic have varied in relation to oil-price fluctuations, and earlier forecasts for an average regional GDP growth rate of 2.8% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022 is not consistent across the region. In Lebanon, economic collapse has had a huge impact on public utilities and people’s livelihoods and Yemen and Syria are dealing with ongoing armed conflict alongside economic crisis and the impacts of climate change.

This package of materials was gathered during and after a K4D Learning Journey which took place intensively over several weeks in July 2020. They involved a series of facilitated discussion workshops which brought together conflict and stability experts, regional experts and the latest thinking on climate change and food security to develop evidence-based assumptions and predictions about the shape of the MENA region in 2030.

By working together online, a series of scenarios were created aimed at defining UK interests and informing the next stage of the strategy development process. Discussions focused on taking a global view of the evidence first, to inform and define UK interests second, but also to capture ideas on what might matter to the UK in the future, and how existing interests will develop. Using the expertise of attendees, the workshops covered a series of likely scenarios for the coming decade identifying key trends and uncertainties, geopolitics, security and conflict, social cohesion and regional prosperity.

The workshops were recorded by two graphic illustrators who produced images representing the discussions and these are included in the learning package. In addition to these images, the learning package also includes a selection of relevant articles looking at developments prior to and since the workshops and reporting on developments across the region.


The resources below have been selected due to their relevance to the learning package. Explore them to strengthen your understanding of developing scenarios for the MENA region.

Continents, regions and countries