Middle East and North Africa
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) comprises a small share of the world’s population (5%) and is characterized by its youth (50% or 88 million people aged 15 to 24), who show the highest unemployment rate worldwide (24%), in a context of change that led to a slowdown in economic growth (3%).
According to Findex, the region has the lowest percentages of adults with a formal account (18%) and of poor people with formal access to financial services (9%). In many countries, government plays a role in financial access through social funds (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen) or strongly supports the microfinance industry (Morocco). Reflecting the population share, microfinance coverage is of 3% of clients recorded on the MIX, with a remaining market estimated at about 19 million clients. The region counts both success stories and cases of severe crisis.
Out of twenty countries ranging from Morocco to Iran, CGAP focuses its efforts on a developing subset in the Levant and North Africa, supporting more enabling regulatory frameworks that enhance financial inclusion and stability. Additionally, CGAP works on promoting business model innovation in Islamic microfinance, branchless banking and postal networks, as well as more effective and better coordinated donor assistance.
Contact: Mayada El-Zoghbi