The Africa and Middle East Working Group of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative includes 27 financial institutions that are signatories of the UNEP Statement of Commitment on Sustainable Development and/or the Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI).

The group works with regional and local members and partners in Africa and the Middle East, and the subsidiaries of international organisations, to disseminate and communicate UNEP FI’s work, and contribute to delivering global projects such as tools and research to support sustainability in the financial sector.

The group works with local partners to deliver awareness raising and capacity building events around social and environmental risks and opportunities for financial institutions to help drive sustainable development in the real economy.

Further activities in the region include: network-building in order to facilitate sharing of information and best practice between financial institutions; engagement with relevant stakeholders in the sustainable finance space in the region; providing access to UNEP FI industry and thematic outputs; workshops and online training courses.

UNEP FI engages with stakeholders that are relevant to sustainable finance in the region, including regulators, in particular central banks; banking associations; local sustainability networks and policy makers.

The Africa and Middle East Working Group was the first regional group within UNEP FI to be set up following the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development that took place in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Training, professional development and knowledge management

UNEP FI has a range of training offerings, both online and in workshop format, covering several themes. For further information on each of these services, please visit the Sustainable Finance Training section.

Insight, news and tools to help financial institutions based in the Arab region build resilience to climate change is available on the new knowledge platform: Financing the Climate Transition in the MENA.

Report on Promoting Sustainable Finance and Climate Finance in the Arab Region

This report investigates the most prevalent sustainable finance practices in six countries in the Arab region: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Also, this report assesses the status of climate finance in four countries in the Arab region: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Tunisia. It provides a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats associated with the readiness of the Arab financial system to support the transition to greener economies, and concludes with policy recommendations and closing remarks on scaling up sustainable and climate finance in the Arab region.

High-level regional meeting with Arab Central Bank Governors and Banking Executive Managers

On Thursday 24 June 2021, senior-level participants comprising Central Bank deputy Governors and Banks’ Executive Management from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia met virtually to initiate a dialogue to address the finance sector’s role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and resilient economy. The outcomes of this roundtable are the creation of a Sustainable Finance Platform to provide guidance and support to banks in the region and plans to develop a capacity-building platform supported by international partners. Kindly read the meeting report here.


Financial institutions based in Africa and the Middle East which are UNEP FI Signatories

Supporting institutions


Nuran Ashraf Atef
Regional Coordinator for Africa and Middle East