The Fund supports over thirty organizations in the Middle East and North Africa through its grants programs in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Since the widespread protests known as the Arab Spring were sparked in early 2011, our careful analysis of the situation on the ground in each country has informed where and how we direct funding and other support to have the greatest impact.
Our grantees in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are tackling similar legacies of corruption and impunity for human rights abuses committed by authoritarian regimes. In some cases there has been room for reform. In Morocco, our grantees have put laws on the books granting better protections to Berber communities, women, and migrants, while in Tunisia civil society worked with the new government to draft a rights-respecting constitution. In Algeria, where the government is extremely restrictive, and activists are regularly arrested, we support the few truly independent organizations who courageously continue to press for change. Likewise in Egypt human rights activism has become extremely dangerous due to increasing crackdowns by the government. The Fund is coordinating with organizations on the ground in both countries to protect their security, coordinate efforts to overcome legal obstacles to their work, and get them the resources they need to sustain their critical work.
Driving progress in all of these countries has required the Fund to respond to the needs of our grantees at every turn, from investing in a multi-year capacity building program for a new generation of activists in Tunisia to developing security plans for activists under threat. Our commitment is relentless, and we won’t stop until we see relevant, lasting change in North Africa.