Our Work in the Middle East

Our work in the Middle East includes efforts to increase access to vaccines, improve agricultural production, improve sanitation, and respond to emergency situations. We also build partnerships with governments and private donors who are helping to fund research and programs that will benefit people living in poverty all around the globe.

A Message from the Head of Middle East Relations

Our region is beset by a range of challenges, from poor health and low agricultural production to political crises and violence. While these challenges are complex, the solutions are also to be found in the region. Particularly, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have achieved prosperity and stability, and become major donors in their own right. Recent years have witnessed a wave of institution building within the development sector, as donors seek greater impact from their investments.

The Gates Foundation invests directly in a number of countries across the Arab world; including to deliver humanitarian relief in Yemen, Iraq, Gaza, and Syria; to support poor farmers across the region to grow more crops; and to provide libraries in Tunisia and Palestine with critical resources to connect young people with opportunity.

However, we know that the most significant gains we can achieve are by working alongside donors from the region, combining our respective expertise, resources, and voices to call for change. That’s why we collaborate with local governments, development banks, NGOs, and private individuals to build programs that can make a real difference.

Through these partnerships, GCC donors are taking the lead to eradicate polio from Syria, Pakistan, and the entire world. They are bringing lifesaving vaccines to the poorest children who need them most. Together, we are building the sector of philanthropy through a range of capacity-building initiatives.

Now is the time to build a broad coalition of development actors to solve the underlying challenges faced by countries across the Muslim world. I welcome you to join us in this work.

Asif Abbas
Head of Middle East Relations