North Africa (Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria)

The political upheavals of 2011 in North Africa paved the way for a long transition process towards an uncertain outcome. Switzerland's activities are aimed at fostering a more inclusive, prosperous and peaceful region. Tunisia and Egypt are the two priority countries for the SDC in Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 in North Africa.


North Africa is made up of countries with very different profiles. Owing to their geopolitical weight and their proximity to Europe, they are important partners for Switzerland. All the countries of the region face the same difficulties and issues of fragility: high unemployment, especially among young people and women; corruption; gender-based discrimination; regional disparities; and political, economic and social exclusion. On top of that, they also have to contend with precarious security conditions, economic stagnation and high migration flows.

Switzerland's commitment

Switzerland focuses on three thematic priorities: governance and human rights; sustainable and inclusive economic development; and migration and protection. In Egypt and Tunisia, Switzerland is active in all three of these areas. It provides humanitarian aid in Libya and Algeria, while in Libya, it also works to promote peace. 

Governance and human rights

Switzerland is upscaling its efforts to contribute to participatory, effective, transparent and responsive governance, the rule of law and the promotion and respect of human rights, including the rights of women and migrants. In Tunisia, the new programme aims to consolidate democratic transition processes, particularly as regards decentralisation. In Egypt, Switzerland addresses the principles of good governance and supports civil society, the media and academia.

Good governance

Poverty reduction through conflict and disaster prevention

Inclusive and sustainable economic development

Switzerland focuses its activities on structural economic reforms and improving economic opportunities for young people, women and men. This includes promoting reliable economic framework conditions, innovative private-sector initiatives, access to markets and assets, and the creation of decent income opportunities for women and men. Switzerland engages in sectoral interventions to improve basic infrastructure and urban planning, private sector development providing gainful employment, better public financial management and more transparent public institutions (complementarities between the SDC and SECO).

Migration and protection

North Africa has traditionally been affected by numerous migration flows, whereby people move within their own countries, across the region and onward to Europe, fleeing economic hardship and conflict. Many of these migrants are victims of violence and exploitation. Switzerland is helping to create the necessary framework conditions in the areas of protection, respect for international humanitarian law, social inclusion of migrants, participation of the diaspora in sustainable development, safe economic migration and prevention of irregular migration.

At the regional level, the focus is on protection, basic education and integration of displaced children and young people on two intra-African migration routes, as well as on the economic migration corridor between North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. At the political level, Switzerland aims to strengthen cooperation on migration with North African states. 

Approach and types of partners

Switzerland's activities in North Africa are carried out based on an interdepartmental approach including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the FDFA State Secretariat, the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHD), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Switzerland's main partners in North Africa

  • authorities of the countries concerned at national, regional and municipal level;
  • local and international civil society organisations (Danish Refugee Council, Acted, Euromed Rights, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International Rescue Committee, Première Urgence Internationale and Save the Children);
  • international organisations: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
  • NGOs, private companies and Swiss centres of expertise: EBP, Helvetas, Swisscontact and Terre des hommes. 


Projects Egypt

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Potable Water Management Programme (PWMP) in Upper Egypt Phase 2

01.05.2022 - 31.12.2025

Egypt has critical needs in better managing water resources and reducing water losses as well as consumption, especially in Upper Egypt (climate change impact, lack of infrastructure, high poverty level). Switzerland provides innovative solutions for improved potable water management and service provision to the vulnerable population. The mixed approach based on strengthening capacities of the water company, improving the infrastructure for potable water provision and on engaging the communities will serve as model for nationwide replication.

Strengthening the capacities of Community-Based Organisations serving migrants in Egypt

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2024

In Egypt, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) are key actors in responding to migrants and forcibly displaced persons’ basic needs especially amid COVID 19 pandemic. Building on lessons learnt from the first phase, CBOs will be further empowered to become more financially sustainable in order to continue providing quality services and advocate for migrants and forcibly displaced persons’ needs and rights in the donor community and with decision makers. 

Vocational Skills Development in Egypt

01.12.2021 - 30.06.2026

Over 1 million young people enter the Egyptian labor market every year. A well governed Technical Vocation Education and Training (TVET) system is needed to ensure that skills match the demand, young people are integrated in the labor market and earn a decent income. Switzerland will co-finance BMZ’s Technical Support for the Comprehensive Technical Education Initiative (TCTI), and contribute to the qualitative development and expansion of dual Vocational Education and Training (VET) by integrating the private sector requests and using a sectoral approach.

Support the juvenile justice system in Egypt

01.11.2020 - 31.01.2025

A more independent, impartial, and efficient judiciary is a prerequisite for the current protection of citizens. The juvenile justice system is one avenue where there is both a demonstrated need for engagement and government acceptance. Capitalising on OECD framework agreement with Egypt on rule of law, the proposed intervention will lead to enhanced sector specific governance practices and contribute in increasing trust with government stakeholders.

Youth For the Future

01.09.2020 - 31.12.2024

Switzerland promotes socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable youth to enable sustainable development in Egypt. The project “Youth for Future” strengthens protection and provides better livelihood opportunities for youth to facilitate their access to employment and promote social cohesion.  Egypt and Switzerland share a common interest to bring new perspectives to vulnerable young Egyptians, refugees and migrants with special focus on young women and in setting a favorable framework to promote inclusive socio-economic integration.

Facing COVID-19 together

25.08.2020 - 25.09.2021

Switzerland provides support to address health and socio-economic vulnerabilities of migrant and Egyptian children and their families, who are hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The implementing partner organisation “Save the children” is well positioned to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, trough better access to primary health care, psycho-social support and multipurpose cash assistance.

PSTIC: Provision of protection and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants in Greater Cairo

21.08.2020 - 31.12.2021

The increase in migrants and refugees residing in Egypt, coupled with shrinking humanitarian funding are leaving many at protection risk. With new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the protection risks have risen and needs are exacerbated. This project will respond to the immediate protection needs of refugees and migrants by providing a comprehensive package of gender sensitive emergency protection services in Greater Cairo, with a special focus on women and children at risk. 

Enhance employability of migrants in Urban Cairo

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

Food-processing and the food service sector is ranked as Egypt’s second largest manufacturing industry This project supports the employability of vulnerable Egyptians and migrants, especially women, in the food sector.

Egyptian Red Crescent: Providing primary health care services to migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo

01.12.2018 - 31.05.2023

Access to public primary health care for migrants and Egyptians is a serious challenge. By the means of two “Mobile Clinics”, the project will answer to immediate medical needs of migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo. Advocacy on protection and health issues among decision makers will contribute to filling the gaps in service delivery. Thanks to its experience and ongoing engagement in health and protection in Egypt, Switzerland is well placed to provide early recovery and self-resilience interventions.

Sludge Management in Egypt

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027

By piloting new sludge treatment, disposal and reuse practices the project tackles a crucial yet neglected aspect of the Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) and supports a more comprehensive water resources management.

City Resilience Program, Phase II

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2027

The City Resilience Program scales up the resilience of cities against adverse impacts of disasters and climate change. It does so by supporting risk-informed und multisector planning efforts, identify suitable interventions and investments that enhance the resilience of cities, and supports their bankability and access multiple financing sources.

Small Business Impact Fund, Phase II

01.12.2022 - 30.11.2027

The Small Business Impact Fund (SBIF) is a multi-donor initiative of the EBRD to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SECO’s contribution to the SBIF aims to strengthen competitiveness and resilience of SMEs in Central Asia, North Africa and South Caucasus by providing business advice, skills development and financing.

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Projects Libya

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North Africa Cultural Programme

01.04.2023 - 30.06.2025

Le programme fournit un cadre pour un appui à la Culture comme vecteur d’échanges et de dialogue entre les personnes et les sociétés civiles en Afrique du Nord. Il contribue aux processus de transition politique, à la création d’opportunités de développement économique et à une vision positive de la migration. Il renforce la capacité des peuples d’Afrique du Nord à mettre en valeur leur patrimoine et aux jeunes de la région à exprimer pacifiquement leurs aspiration et leur inventivité.

ACTED: Strengthening humanitarian coordination and access to safe and dignified protection in Libya

01.02.2019 - 31.01.2020

Through the current intervention, ACTED will adopt a twofold approach aiming to contribute to strengthen the response to protection cases in Libya through enhanced coordination and provision of cash assistance. On the one hand, ACTED will strengthen response capacities through the distribution of one-off cash grants based on ongoing protection monitoring activities. On the other hand, the project will support the voices of INGOs in the humanitarian coordination structure, by developing the activities of the INGO Forum.

North Africa Cultural Programme (NACP), Phase 1

15.12.2018 - 31.03.2023

By developing a Regional Cultural Programme, Switzerland seeks to facilitate intercultural dialogue and exchange as a foundation for peace and conflict sensitive development in North Africa and to foster artistic expression as a driver of change in support to the challenges of transition. This will promote peaceful coexistence, political stability and social cohesion in North Africa, hence providing a contribution to the prevention of violent extremism and alternatives for the fulfillment of North African youth in their own societies.

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Projects Morocco

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Economic Inclusion in MENA Region

01.10.2017 - 31.12.2024

Around specific investments the project seeks to equip workers with the necessary skills to get employed. It fosters the inclusion agenda in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco by targeting specifically youth, gender and people from disadvantaged regions.

Government Debt and Risk Management Program, Phase II

01.08.2017 - 31.12.2023

This World Bank Treasury-implemented program aims to increase the capacity of Debt Management Offices in selected partner countries with regard to policy development and implementation of debt management plans, deepening of domestic debt markets, and putting in place sustainable debt management that adequately takes into account cost and risk.

Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.

Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance, Phase II

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2021

SECO is partnering with the World Bank to implement the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Program to support primarily SECO priority countries in building their financial resilience to natural disasters. Countries receive technical assistance helping them in their advance planning of financing needs in the case of natural disasters.

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Projects Tunisia

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North Africa Cultural Programme

01.04.2023 - 30.06.2025

Le programme fournit un cadre pour un appui à la Culture comme vecteur d’échanges et de dialogue entre les personnes et les sociétés civiles en Afrique du Nord. Il contribue aux processus de transition politique, à la création d’opportunités de développement économique et à une vision positive de la migration. Il renforce la capacité des peuples d’Afrique du Nord à mettre en valeur leur patrimoine et aux jeunes de la région à exprimer pacifiquement leurs aspiration et leur inventivité.

Appui à la Fédération Nationale des Communes Tunisiennes et mise en place du Fonds Municipal de Compétence Générale

01.11.2022 - 30.06.2027

Le projet vise à appuyer le processus de décentralisation en Tunisie en renforçant le rôle de la Fédération Nationale des Communes Tunisiennes (FNCT) en tant qu’acteur de soutien aux communes et de plaidoyer politique pour la décentralisation. Dans le cadre de ce projet, la FNCT va appuyer techniquement et financièrement 17 communes pilotes dans la mise en œuvre de leurs plans de développement locaux. Il s’agit d’une contribution à un projet financé par l’Union Européenne. 

BIOREST - Appui au développement d’une agriculture biologique durable et résiliente dans un contexte de changement climatique en Tunisie

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2025

A travers cette l’intervention, la Suisse consolide les efforts du gouvernement tunisien pour la résilience au changement climatique en accompagnant le développement des systèmes d’agriculture biologiques appliquant les principes de l’agriculture intelligente face au climat. L’appui portera sur les axes de la production végétale et animale, l’encadrement des acteurs et le système de contrôle de l’agriculture biologique. L’approche territoriale adoptée consolide la résilience alimentaire et environnementale des régions ciblées et de la Tunisie.

IPDLI - Initiative Pilote de Développement Local Intégré

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2025

Mise en œuvre par l’Organisation Internationale du Travail (OIT), l’intervention contribue à l’amélioration la qualité de vie des populations de 14 communes des régions défavorisées à travers un accompagnement au processus de décentralisation dans son axe transfert des compétences du pouvoir central vers le pouvoir local. Les communes seront appuyées dans leurs rôles d’acteur développement et de fournisseur de services de base dans les secteurs de la santé et de l’éducation.

RESPECT - Redevabilité, sécurité et prévention de l’extrémisme violent pour les citoyennes et citoyens tunisiens

01.10.2021 - 31.08.2025

L’intervention vise à renforcer la capacité de la Commission Nationale de la Lutte contre le Terrorisme (CNLCT) dans la prévention de l’extrémisme violent (PEV) en améliorant la coordination entre les acteurs clés des secteurs de la sécurité et de la justice. L’approche choisie est holistique combinant des activités qui ont pour objectifs de renforcer la cohésion sociale en ciblant les groupes à risque. Un autre aspect de l’intervention consiste à soutenir la réforme du secteur de la sécurité afin que celui-ci soit conforme avec les standards internationaux régissant les droits humains.

Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture (OMCT)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

L’intervention a pour objectifs de renforcer la responsabilisation des acteurs publics pour les violations des droits humains et de contribuer à la réforme de l’environnement institutionnel pour prévenir la torture et réduire l’impunité en Tunisie. Elle offre une assistance directe aux victimes et promeut une meilleure conduite professionnelle des forces sécuritaires et carcérales. L’OMCT travaille aussi en lien étroit avec la société civile pour mener des plaidoyers communs contre la torture et l’impunité des responsables.

PSPET - Programme de soutien au processus électoral en Tunisie

01.11.2020 - 31.12.2024

L’intervention contribue au renforcement de la bonne gouvernance des autorités électorales et à leur résilience pendant les périodes de crise. Elle veille également à assurer l’inclusion des différentes couches de la société dans la participation électorale et politique, à travers des approches innovantes et durables, ainsi que par la diffusion auprès des d’une information électorale fiable et sensible au genre. Le programme sera mis en œuvre par le PNUD et l’IFES.

TAKWEEN - Formation professionnelle en Tunisie

01.10.2020 - 31.10.2026

La Suisse se distingue depuis 2013 par l'impulsion des modèles innovants de formation à dominance pratique, assurant un taux d‘insertion professionnelle à hauteur de 70%. L’intervention marque la volonté de la Suisse à poursuivre son effort en faveur de la modernisation de la FP en Tunisie, par une implication accrue du secteur privé et par le positionnement de la formation professionnelle post-diplôme comme un élément attractif du système de formation institutionnalisé qui vient cibler une plus large palette de bénéficiaires. 

COVID19-Prévention et réponse face à l’impact environnemental et épidémiologique

01.07.2020 - 31.03.2023

Ce projet soutient les efforts de la Tunisie en réponse à la crise COVID19 et renforce ses capacités de gestion des risques avec une approche plus intégrée et décentralisée. Il adresse essentiellement les risques liés à la gestion de déchets dangereux solides et liquides sanitaires ainsi que les eaux usées. Le partenaire de mise en œuvre est le PNUD, en collaboration avec les Ministères de la santé et des Affaires locales. 

Moussanada Mahaleya

01.02.2020 - 30.06.2025

La décentralisation est un processus clé de la démocratisation de la Tunisie inscrit dans la nouvelle constitution de 2014. Après la communalisation, l’Etat Tunisien engage la réforme de la régionalisation, avec l’objectif d’une mise en place des nouveaux conseils régionaux en 2023. Pour lever ce défi la Suisse appuie l’Etat Tunisien pour poursuivre cette réforme avec une approche holistique et participative, à travers une contribution au fonds fiduciaire TERI géré par la Banque Mondiale.

ELECT – Elections libres et crédibles en Tunisie

15.08.2019 - 30.06.2021

The project supports the orderly conduct of the 2019 Electoral process in Tunisia (legislative and presidential elections). It aims at ensuring International and African observation missions and enabling local NGOs to co-lead the process. This short term project completes and facilitates Switzerland’s support to democratic processes in the field of accountability and citizen participation since 2011.

Participation active des citoyennes et citoyens tunisiens — PACT

01.04.2019 - 30.06.2023

L'intervention améliore les conditions de vie des citoyennes et citoyens tunisiens, notamment des jeunes et des femmes, ainsi que qualité des services publics fournis par le biais d'une participation accrue dans la prise des décisions communales et la création d’un cadre favorable et durable de gouvernance démocratique locale.

La valeur ajoutée Suisse réside dans les méthodes et les forums communautaires avec pouvoir de décision sur des projets. Le projet cible la région marginalisée des Hautes Steppes.

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