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. With the Shiraka programme, the Netherlands supports societal development in the MENA region. The social contract between government and citizens is the main focus. Shiraka focuses on the involvement of civilians in governance and the service delivery of governments towards citizens.


The broader programme consists of the following two components:

Programme objectives

Shiraka aims to bring about positive change in the MENA region, meaning:

  • societies that accept cultural and religious differences;
  • states that respect the rule of law and protect individuals, minorities and human rights;
  • an economy which fosters prosperity and employment.