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The Middle East and North Africa

The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) is Denmark’s collaboration project with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In the new phase, the focus is on four countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. The program aims at strengthening good governance and ensuring economic opportunities, especially for young people and women in the region.

Foto: Mikkel Østergaard

The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

Since 2003, Denmark has strengthened its efforts in the Middle East and North Africa as part of the general Danish foreign and development policy. Initially launched as the Arab Initiative, the program will continue under the name the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme until 2022. Partnerships are at the core of the program, where Danish organizations, with expertise in gender equality, job creation, free media etc., cooperate with local organizations in the region.

A succesful and effective program

The objective of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme is to lay the foundation for democratization, stability and prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa. Based on the demand in the region, the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme 2017-2022 consists of six areas of action falling under two main themes: 


  • Human rights
  • Gender equality
  • Free media

Economic opportunities

  • Labour market and social dialogue
  • Youth participation and employment
  • Entrepreneurship and access to finance

Read more about the program here

Youth and women

The new phase of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme has an explicit focus on youth and women.

Youth unemployment is a major concern in the Middle East and North Africa, where two thirds of the population are under the age of 30. In some countries, as many as one out of three young people are unemployed.

If young people fail to find foothold in the labour market, the risk of involvement in extremist activities or the pursuit of an uncertain life in Europe is enhanced. Therefore, DAPP focuses on engaging youth in the development of their countries, thus preventing brain drain, migration and radicalization by strengthening job creation and entrepreneurship.

Despite several advances for women in the areas of health, education and political participation, men and women still face very different circumstances in the region. With regards to gender equality, the region ranks as the least equal in the world. Legal and economic gender discrimination is a barrier to democratic and economic development. 

Therefore, women are a pivotal focus in the new phase of DAPP, and the program seeks to promote gender equality initiatives and strengthen the political and economic participation of women.

DAPP has the following partners:

  • Human rights: DIGNITY in cooperation with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, EuroMed Rights, Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders and Danmission.
  • Gender equality: KVINFO in cooperation with the Women’s Council, Danner, LGBT Denmark and the Danish Family Planning Association.
  • Free media: International Media Support.
  • Labour market: Ulandssekretariatet in cooperation with Danish Industry.
  • Youth participation and employment: Oxfam IBIS.
  • Entrepreneurship and access to finance: The African Development Bank.

Moreover, DAPP continues its support to the Danish Egyptian Dialog Initiative (DEDI).

Read more about the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme here:


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Asiatisk Plads 2 
DK-1448 Copenhagen K
Tel. +45 33 92 00 00
Fax +45 32 54 05 33
[email protected]



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