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International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
29 November2015

World AIDS Day
1 December2015

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
2 December2015




Ms. Ramla Khalidi
Chief of Startegic Directions and Partnerships Section


Upcoming Events

Sorry, there are no upcoming events planned for the moment.

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Past Events

16/12- 16/12/2014
Technical Cooperation Network Meeting (back to back to the Ninth Meeting of the Technical Committee) - Amman

31/5- 31/5/2013
National Technical Cooperation Network Meeting - UAE

15/3- 15/3/2013
18th Regional Coordination Mechanism Meeting - Beirut

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Partners and Donors
“Full Arab integration, which takes into account its economic, social and cultural dimensions, can no longer remain a purely intellectual luxury. Rather, it is a strategic choice and a fundamental prerequisite of an Arab renaissance, which can provide security and welfare for people, and prosperity and invincibility for countries. In that context, and as the regional arm of the United Nations in this region, ESCWA must support its member countries in transforming this vision from a mere dream to reality.”
Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Ms. Rima Khalaf

ESCWA is an important regional actor in the field of economic and social development.  To amplify the impact of its normative and operational work, the organization enters into different types of partnerships and collaborative ventures with a host of global, regional, national and local partners. These partners include member countries, bilateral development agencies, intergovernmental organizations and agencies within and outside the United Nations system, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector. Partnerships may be long or short term, they may or may not include financial transactions, and they may be wide ranging in scope or focused on specific outputs or activities.  In all cases, ESCWA's partnerships seek to create maximum synergy and coherence through collaborative work.

ESCWA enters into different categories of official agreements, depending on the nature of the partnership. In general, these can be classified according to the following typology:

General cooperation agreements are focused on outlining areas of cooperation and coordination. These non-financial agreements offer the tools to develop short, medium and long-term coordination frameworks between partners. In general, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is used to define long-term, non-time-bound agreements between two entities and outline the general areas of cooperation, including representation, coordination, and exchange of information. A Letter of Understanding (LoU) is used to define a time-bound agreement between two or more entities, with specific commitments related to the organization of joint initiatives or activities.

Contribution Agreements are entered into when ESCWA is the recipient of a voluntary financial contribution. ESCWA receives voluntary contributions from member countries, donor countries, development agencies, including UN organizations, non-governmental entities, and the private sector. ESCWA receives two types of contributions: a) un-earmarked funds to the ESCWA Trust Fund to support or supplement the substantive and operational work of the Commission; and b) voluntary contributions earmarked to support specific programmes, projects and activities that are detailed in a project document and budget. 

Funding Agreements are used when ESCWA transfers funds to another organization or entity to implement a set of activities.  The activities are normally spelled out in detail in a project concept and budget.  

Contact and partner with us: escwapartnerships@un.org



“Our partnerships include, in addition to government interlocutors, civil society organizations and the private sector, two pivotal players and agents of change in our societies” 

Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Ms. Rima Khalaf


In 2013, ESCWA designed a resource mobilization strategy lighting the organization short and long term goals and approach to voluntary contributions (Brief).  

ESCWA received $5,099,334 USD in voluntary contributions to implement national and regional activities under its seven sub-programmes. These activities and projects were developed in response to the needs of the region in different sectors including water, environment, statistics, technology and innovation, social and economic development and gender. In addition, new projects were developed to respond to the emerging needs of the member countries in transition.

ESCWA entered into partnerships with 17 different donors, including governments, other UN agencies, regional funds, private foundations and international development agencies. The most prominent donors in recent years include:

Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), which works on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. In its cooperation with ESCWA between 2010-2013, it has provided more than 6.5 million USD for projects in areas such as water, sanitation and climate change.

Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develpment (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which works on behalf of the federal government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, as well as the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) which provides advice on behalf of the federal government in geo-relevant questions such as water resource management, has provided a total of $ 810,747 between 2012-2013 for projects in sustainable development, water resource management and responding to the needs of transition countries.

GIZ has also contributed close to $1.3 million USD to support the National Agenda for the Future of Syria Programme (NAFS), which seeks to put in place an ambitious national development vision for the post-conflict transition.

Norway, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which works to promote peace and security, an international legal system, an economically just world order and sustainable development, has supported ESCWA’s work in the field of ending violence against women and responding to the needs of transition governments. Norway has also contributed close to 1 million USD to the National Agenda for the Future of Syria Programme (NAFS).

The World Bank, which is responsible for operations in some 20 countries Middle East & North Africa region,as well as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has provided more than 1 million USD between 2010-2013 in areas such as economic statistics.

UNDP helps countries across the Arab region to build and share their own solutions to development challenges within UNDP's four main focus areas: poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, and environment and sustainable development. In its cooperation with ESCWA it has contributed more than 3.3 million USD between 2008-2013 in areas such as social development and governance, with a focus on countries emerging from conflict.      


Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) contributes to the financing of economic and social development projects in Arab States. This Arab regional financial institution has contributed more than 500,000 USD to ESCWA in 2011 to support efforts that promote an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities of regional integration and long term strategic planning and visioning.


Success Stories

National Agenda for the Future of Syria: This programme examines concrete development needs in Syria and assists a wide range of Syrians in preparing a National Agenda for the future of the country in terms of 1) economic recovery and reconstruction; 2) social reconciliation and social cohesion, and; 3) institution-building, good governance and democratisation. The aim is to develop pragmatic solutions and alternatives to be used by Syrian stakeholders to tackle issues of reconstruction and reconciliation in the transitional post-conflict phase, thus supporting the country in the process of forging a new social contract and advancing sustainable development. The programme has attracted funding from Norway, Germany, Italy and Finland. (Brief)

Regional Initiative for the Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region: This SIDA-funded project assesses the impact of climate change on water resources and its implications for socio-economic vulnerability in the Arab region by creating a regional knowledge base,conducting regional climate modelling in a newly defined Arab Domain and improving the institutional capacity of Arab countries for assessment and informed decision-making. (go to website)

Integrated and Transboundary Water Resources Management: This recently finalized 8 year long project in collaboration with two German institutions, the Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) and the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), improved the collaboration of ESCWA member countries in the water sector by building up bi- or multi-national working groups and committees for the management of shared water resources.  With its offices co-located at ESCWA, the BGR provided advisory services to ESCWA and the ESCWA Member Countries on integrated management of shared water resources. (go to website)

Transition, Transformation and Prospects for the Future in the Arab Region: This project jointly funded by AFESD, ISDB and IDRC enhances the capacity of Arab governments and civil society actors to seize the window of opportunity created by emerging popular movements, and to address the underlying economic, social and political challenges through regional consultations, normative analysis and case studies. In 2012 and 2013 ESCWA organized two high level meetings on Reforms and Transition to Democracy and on Economic Challenges and Opportunities in Democratic Transitions.


In 2014, ESCWA launched a new partnership strategy that include this approach:
ESCWA enters into partnerships with organizations and entities in order to advance the key development objectives of the region. It does so by partnering strategically: planning and prioritizing partnerships in such a way as to concretize policy change, mobilize all relevant stakeholders and strengthen the advocacy of UN norms and values. This approach to partnerships promotes systematic and sustainable collaboration around medium to long term development goals that are broad, regional in nature, and represent a clear contribution to human development in the region. (Brief)


ESCWA and the League of Arab States (LAS) are longtime partners in development in the region. Since its establishment, the Commission has viewed its partnership with LAS as a critical component in its regional role, both by mandate and in practice. The two organizations cooperate on studies, meetings, initiatives, and working groups. They support the political processes leading to regional declarations and agreements on priority issues, and have jointly engaged in producing data and knowledge in different areas of economic and social development. Cooperation is substantive, technical, financial and political. 


ESCWA hosts the Regional Coordination Mechanism, an inter-agency meeting usually held twice a year which is aimed at coordinatingthe regional work programmes of the United Nations system organizations. The mandate of the RCM is to: 

  1. Promote strategic coordination and information sharing at the regional and sub-regional levels among UN entities;            
  2. Promote and maximize collective action;
  3. Ensure thematic and policy coherence across UN agencies in the Arab region and supporting the alignment of operational work with analytical and normative work.

RCM website

ESCWA has partnerships with several UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, such as: UNDP, FAO, ILO, UNWOMEN, UNFPA and UNEP.


ESCWA aims to build partnerships and strengthen existing ones with civil society organisations, think tanks, and academic institutions at the national, regional, and international levels.

ESCWA considers civil society organizations to be vital partners in development. Their perspectives and voices enrich the policy debates and contribute to operational activities, helping to bring about positive change in the economies and societies of the region.

As part of its goal to support economic and social development in the countries of the region and to promote the exchange of experience, ESCWA also looks for partnerships with think tanks and academic institutions. It seeks to partner with both of them on areas of common interest, which will deepen the Organization’s expertise.

ESCWA has nurtured diverse partnerships with civil society, think tanks and academic institutions, among others with the Arab NGO Network for Development, the Common Space Initiative, the Arab Centre for the Development of the Rule of Law and Integrity, the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan and the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University of Cairo. ESCWA also works closely with the Arab Organization for Disabled People (AODP) to advocate for policy change and conduct research on disability issues.


“The United Nations and the business need each other. We need your innovation, your initiative, your technological prowess. But business also needs the United Nations. In a very real sense, the work of the United Nations can be viewed as seeking to create the ideal enabling environment within which business can thrive”

UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban-Ki Moon
The private sector plays a key role in the development of the region and has specific expertise in areas related to ESCWA’s work. That is why ESCWA seeks to foster partnerships and to exchange expertise with this sector.

In its work with the business sector, ESCWA follows the principles outlined in the “Guidelines on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Business Community” and the UN Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to the ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

In general, partnerships with the private sector include either a) in-kind contributions, such as expert time; b) parallel financing of projects without transfer of funds; or c) earmarked or unearmarked financial contributions.



ESCWA seeks to attract larger numbers of qualified young professionals to contribute to its work and to benefit from exposure to an international and inter-governmental organisation. Drawing a larger number of young scholars and new entrants to the labour force has the dual advantage of infusing a youth perspective and insight into ESCWA’s work, and providing young professionals with the opportunity to hone their analytical skills, deepen their expertise and expand their understanding of critical issues facing the Arab region. ESCWA has three tracks that it pursues to attract young professionals (see flyer).