Netherlands-MENA Partnership (Shiraka)

The Shiraka Netherlands-MENA Partnership was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016, as a successor to the Matra South Programme. The aim of Shiraka is to support sustainable democratic transition in the MENA region. It is a Dutch bilateral effort dedicated to contributing to political developments in the MENA region.


The broader programme consists of the following two components:

Programme objectives

The aim of Shiraka is to support:

  • democratisation, including the organisation of free and transparent elections and holding government accountable;
  • construction of the constitutional state and protection of human rights and minorities;
  • economic growth, partly by building up the economic infrastructure, including stimulating employment.