The Near East Foundation UK (NEF-UK) was established in 2012. The US-based Near East Foundation (NEF) and NEF-UK are legally and financially independent organisations. NEF and NEF-UK share technical and management capabilities as needed to advance our common objectives.

Our Work

NEF-UK and NEF share a common mission and approach to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing, and economic development.


  • Access to Education in Rural Morocco

    Active: 2015 - 2017

    Donor: Big Lottery Fund


    Building on a successful model that the Near East Foundation has utilized since 2006, the Near East Foundation UK and its local partner, the Tichka Association, are working to improve access to education for primary students in rural Morocco. Through a multifaceted approach, we are accomplishing this goal by strengthening parent-teacher associations, designing child-led extra-curricular activities, and engaging disadvantaged parents to enrol and send their children regularly to school.


    NEF is improving access to and quality of primary education for 2,100 poor girls and boys in 14 villages in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains (Ouarzazate Province) by strengthening Parent Teacher Associations, designing child-led extra-curricular activities, and encouraging disadvantaged parents to enroll and send their children to school regularly. 

  • Advancing Women’s Businesses in the Palestinian Territories

    Active: 2014 - 2017

    Donor: Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Trafigura Foundation, Oak Foundation


    This initiative focuses on the “missing middle” of women entrepreneurs – women who can act as drivers of development – creating jobs, revitalising their economies, and realising their full potential as agents of social change. Project activities are designed to help overcome barriers to women’s entrepreneurship, including lack of financial services for women entrepreneurs and a need for training and to increase market.


    Empowering 200 Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron-based women entrepreneurs to expand profitable and sustainable business models that are market-oriented, scalable and facilitate job creation. The project will (1) strengthen the skills of 200 women; (2) provide continued, more intensive training and coaching for 100 of the top performers of this group; and (3) support 60 of these women in accessing business incubation services to accelerate business growth.

  • Advancing Gender Equality and the Rights of Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Armenia

    Active: 2015 - 2017

    Donor: European Commission under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) thumbnail


    Over a two-year period, the European Union financed AGERS project is guiding 200 GBV survivors as they enhance their employability and small business skills, and pursue new income-generating opportunities that promote independence and support decent living conditions for women and their families. In parallel, the project is working with four CSOs that already work with GBV survivors to improve their capacity to deliver economic development programs that are supportive of gender equality, protective against GBV and engage the public, support groups, employers and other civil society and market actors across many sectors in joint actions, dialogue, and training around norms, safe workspaces, and protection strategies linked to economic opportunities. NEF’s approach is organized around three pillars: business and vocational skills, financial resources, and social inclusion. The project is implemented by NEF UK and Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce (GCCI).


    Since its launch in January 2015, the two-year project has helped 230 survivors of gender-based violence gain increased employability, small business skills, and establish small businesses. Seventy women received vocational training in various specializations, 130 received financial support to start their small businesses, 80 developed career development plans, and 50 women found employment in the labor market. “The project has improved confidence and self-reliance among survivors of gender-based violence, providing women with safe options when making decisions that affect their family’s lives,” Arpine Baghdoyan, NEF UK’s country director in Armenia, explained.

  • Empowering Women in Sudan through Non-Wood Forest Products for Income and Food Security

    Active: 2016 - 2019

    Donor: Comic Relief


    NEF will increase the sustainable income, leadership and inclusion of vulnerable women involved in the non-wood forest products sector (i.e., Gum Arabic, B. aegyptiaca, Z. spina-christi, T. indica, A. digitata, and forest honey) in 9 villages in South and North Kordofan (Sudan) through association building, improved market inclusion, entrepreneurship training, and collaborative natural resource management.


    Increase the income of 2,242 women by 40-100% and asset accumulation by 10%, reverse local forest degradation by 6% annually, form and build the capacity of three cluster-level producer organizations, incubate 36 high-growth women-run enterprises, and  initiate 21 collaborative natural resource management projects that benefit multiple groups. 

  • Advancing the Contribution and Stewardship of Civil Society Organizations in Inclusive Local Development in Sudan

    Active: 2016 - 2017

    Donor: European Union thumbnail


    NEF and its partners will strengthen the contributions of 10 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eight cluster of communities as partners and stakeholders in support of inclusive, peaceful and sustainable economic and social development in rural Central Darfur, Sudan.


    Increase the technical and management capacity of CSOs to improve access to collaborative and quality Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and for vulnerable communities and create positive change in the lives of communities living in 8 clusters of 46 villages in four Localities through 16 multi-actor and CSO-led collaborative NRM and WASH community interventions. Further, strengthen the effectiveness of CSOs in cooperating with other actors to assess, prioritize, communicate, and coordinate local needs of vulnerable groups related to WASH and NRM.