Sustainable Finance in the MENA Region

State of Development, Challenges, and Opportunities

The risks posed by climate change, from energy crises to severe weather events to resource scarcity and pollution/low water quality and sanitation, are particularly acute for low-income populations and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). This is especially true for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region in which large swathes of the population live in areas that are threatened by desertification, rising sea levels, and water stress. This research project was initiated with four primary objectives:

  1. Gauge microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) awareness on the topic of sustainable finance.
  2. Measure progress towards implementing sustainability at the institutional and client level, by identifying existing environmental strategies, climate risk management practices, and sustainable financial and non-financial product and services.
  3. Determine the support MFIs need to develop their environmental strategies and integrate sustainability into their operations.
  4. To identify the local and regional stakeholders creating an enabling environment for sustainable finance.

The findings show that although some countries have begun to develop policies, regulations, and governmental strategies surrounding sustainable finance, the region is still at a nascent stage when it comes to specific support to guide MFIs in developing and integrating sustainable actions.

About this Publication

By Natalia Realpe Carrillo , Alexander Reviakin