In 2016 the Netherlands-MENA Partnership (Shiraka) was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a successor to the Matra South Programme. The aim of Shiraka is to support sustainable democratic transition in the MENA region. It is a Dutch bilateral effort dedicated to contributing to political developments in the MENA region.
The broader programme consists of the following two components:
- Training for government employees (Shiraka Training Programme, STP)
- Government-to-government cooperation (G2G)
The aim of Shiraka is to support:
- democratisation, including the organisation of free and transparent elections and the government being held accountable
- construction of the constitutional state and protection of human rights and minorities
- economic growth, partly by building up the economic infrastructure, including stimulating employment.