Supporting Youth-Led Efforts to Advance Climate Action in the Middle East and North Africa
According to the World Bank, the MENA region is the hottest and driest region on Earth, making it one of the most susceptible to climate change impacts. These impacts can include the exacerbation of food and water scarcity, driving conflict and instability, as well as migration and displacement.
Despite the consequences of climate change in MENA, Arab Barometer surveys from 2020-2021 found that climate change and environmental issues are not viewed as a public priority across most MENA countries. However, across the region and globe, youth are increasingly at the frontlines of educating, advocating, and advancing climate awareness and solutions. Examples from the MENA region include the establishment of the Arab Youth Climate Movement, which includes national chapters in Lebanon and Qatar, and initiatives such as the Youth Water Dialogue in Tunisia.
Through the USAID-funded Governance Integration for Stabilization and Resilience in the Middle East and North Africa (GISR MENA) Task Order, MSI is leading the implementation of the GISR MENA Youth for Climate Action (MYCA) activity, which aims to support youth-led efforts in advancing climate action across MENA and leverage growing windows of opportunity to increase dialogue and awareness of climate change within the region. In partnership with USAID and Search for Common Ground, we are working to increase engagement with youth-led organizations and youth-serving organizations (YLOs/YSOs) in the region that seek to advance climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives. The activity also seeks to strengthen these organizations’ technical and organizational capacities to implement and sustain climate efforts and facilitate peer knowledge sharing, learning, and collaboration.
In August 2022, the activity managed a Request for Applications opportunity, which awarded seven local YLOs/YSOs across the MENA region a grant to implement their proposed climate and environmental initiatives. These include local partners in Egypt (Athar Training Services, Greenish Foundation, and the Center for Development Services), Iraq (Aid Gate Organization), Lebanon (ReFuse Lebanon), Tunisia (Association Djerba Insolite), and West Bank/Gaza (Save Youth Future Society). The seven local YLOs/YSOs will implement their initiatives with USAID support through June 2023.
Additionally, the activity facilitated the participation of each local YLOs/YSOs’ representation and engagement at the 17th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY17) and the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference of the Parties 27 (COP27), both in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Learn more about our Youth Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist’s experience at COY17 here.