In 2016 the Netherlands-Arab 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 the sustainable democratic transition in the Arab region. It is a Dutch bilateral effort dedicated to contributing to the political developments in the Arab 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 organization 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 the stimulation of employment.