The Middle East and North Africa
In the Middle East and North Africa, a region with majority Muslim populations, the Islamic faith often plays a prominent role in culture, society, and government. Extensive efforts to fight poverty and improve welfare across the Muslim world have received increasing focus in recent years, partially because of a concern over links between poverty and instability. Muslims are required by their religion to “do good” so that Islamic values are closely integrated into Islamic volunteerism and NGO work. Institutions engaged in fighting poverty range from global to local, official to private, and humanitarian to development oriented. There is substantial variation in the legal frameworks and extent of government control over civil society and faith-inspired organizations involved in development work, which in turn varies the size and vibrancy of NGO sectors across the region. The organizations, programs, and publications featured on this page highlight the diversity of faith-inspired development efforts in the Middle East and North Africa. The resources are part of an ongoing initiative focused on religion and global development sponsored by the Luce Foundation.