UNDP 50th anniversary logo


UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States, with offices in 17 Arab countries and the occupied Palestinian territory, caters to a broad range of development challenges. These challenges include an unprecedented wave of political transition that has swept the region since 2010, and an increasing number of conflicts, many of which extend over long periods.

Across the Arab region, UNDP is helping countries to expand economic opportunities, especially for an increasingly young population; mitigate impacts of conflict, instability and exposure to disasters; meet the aspirations of political transitions, including increasing popular demands for transparency, voice and accountability; counteract food, water and energy insecurity; and bridge the continuing gaps in women’s participation and empowerment.

Despite significant progress over the past 40 years in areas such as life expectancy and school enrolment, the region, given the wide economic disparities among its countries, needs to more effectively translate its considerable wealth and potential into commensurate development gains.

UNDP has been a pioneer in leveraging knowledge for development in the region. Since 2002, the Arab Human Development Reports (AHDRs) have brought together independent Arab scholars to promote evidence-based understandings of emerging trends, challenges and broad directions needed for a better future, in areas such as governance, women’s empowerment, knowledge and human security. The upcoming AHDR 2016 makes an argument and policy recommendations for putting youth empowerment at the center of the region’s quest for sustainable development, peace and prosperity.

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Lebanon UN Photo / GT
Restoring forests in Lebanon
In the 1960s, the Government of Lebanon, with the assistance of UNDP and FAO, conducted a "Green Plan" to rehabilitate the highlands, which covered nearly 70% of the country.  In this 1967 photo, women tend to tree seedlings as part of the Green Plan's aim to restore the forests which once blanketed the highlands. Today, UNDP continues to support Lebanon by reviving local economies - part of its response to the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the region.
Occupied Palestinian Territory UN Photo / Milton Grant
Assisting the Palestinian People
In 1978, in the wake of the Camp David Accords, UNDP launched PAPP, a programme that works together with the Palestinian people to fulfil their aspiration for sustainable human development based on self-determination, equality and freedom.  From its earliest days, PAPP helped build schools and cultural institutions, expand hospitals, set up fish markets and chicken farms, and more.  Today, PAPP works on a range of projects, such as democratic governance, economic empowerment, natural resources management, and more. 
Tunisia UNDP / Kate Bader
Increasing livelihoods in Tunisia
Given the country's melliferous resources, the Government of Tunisia, with support from UNDP and FAO, worked to modernize bee hives, introduce new technologies and provide training, resulting in increased honey production and crop yields for farmers. In this 1984 photo taken at the Sidi Fraj centre for queen breeding, a worker examines cells for larvae and honey. Today, UNDP continues to support development in Tunisia, such as by promoting youth employment.