Development finance for water resources: trends in the Middle East and North Africa

Research reports and studies
December 2016
Guy Jobbins, Sherine El Taraboulsi and Florence Pichon

This report and ODI Insights policy brief provides an overview of development finance for water resources in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) using data reported by donors to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and interviews with multilateral institutions and bilateral donors.

The report explores changes in finance sources and access to water resources finance by MENA countries over the past decade. It concludes that water resources finance has been deprioritised in most territories, and that access to finance is related to progress with institutional and policy reforms.

Based on our findings, we make four key policy recommendations for donor governments to improve the effectiveness of finance for water resources in MENA:

  1. Maintain support for water resources to sustain development gains: the recent downward trend of development finance for water resources in MENA should be reversed.
  2. Raise the political profile of water resources reform: higher political prioritisation of water resources reform is needed to encourage reform and mobilise finance in MENA.
  3. Use politically aware and cross-departmental approaches: reform should be approached by engaging with key political actors and agendas across government.
  4. Form innovative donor partnerships in the region: donors from within and without MENA have comparative advantages in supporting reform.