The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was established to implement the UN’s drug and crime programmes in an integrated manner, addressing the interrelated issues of drug control, crime prevention and international terrorism in the context of sustainable development and human security.


The UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (ROMENA) was established in 1997 in Cairo, Egypt with the vision of supporting the Member States in the region to be safer from drugs, organized crime, corruption, and terrorism. ROMENA has programme offices in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen with more than 130 personnel.


UNODC’s work in the region is based on five normative areas of activity:
- Strengthening Member States’ capacities to confront threats from transnational organized crime,
- Tackling corruption and its negative impact on societies,
- Strengthening crime prevention and building effective criminal justice systems.
- Supporting Member States in implementing a balanced, comprehensive, and evidence-based approach to the world drug problem that addresses both supply and demand, and
- Countering terrorism.
More about our Mandate here.
The “Regional Programme to Prevent and Combat Crime, Terrorism and Health Threats and Strengthen Criminal Justice Systems in Line with International Human Rights Standards (2016-2021)” acts as the umbrella to our action within the region. Within the Regional Programme there are five priority Subprogrammes:
  1. Combating Organized Crime
  2. Countering Terrorism
  3. Combating Corruption and Financial Crimes
  4. Strengthening Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
  5. Prevention of Drug Use, Treatment and Care of Drug Use Disorders and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care
More about our Regional Programme here.
In pursuing such objectives in the region, UNODC makes systematic efforts to increase gender equality and the empowerment of women in order to ensure that men and women, boys and girls have equal access to rights, resources, and opportunities. Read about our work in relation to gender equality and women empowerment.


People are at the core of our work and the heart of all impact.

Every day, UNODC ROMENA works with Government institutions and practitioners, including criminal justice policymakers and practitioners, prison officials, health and social workers as well as CSOs to better service and support victims and survivors of crimes, human trafficking, violence, and terrorism as well as people in prisons, youth in conflict with the law, people who use drugs and live with HIV, people with drug use disorders, focusing on youth and women empowerment. Our ambition is to support countries and communities in the region to reach sustainable solutions to the threats of drugs and crime, corruption, and terrorism embedded in sustainable development, peace and security. 

Read UNODC ROMENA's stories on such work here.

The UNODC Strategy 2021 – 2025 guides ROMENA’s work in the region to deliver effectively, efficiently and with accountability, elevating our support to the Member States to build just, inclusive and resilient societies that leave no one behind.
Further guidance to UNODC ROMENA's work in North Africa is through the UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 to provide more safety to Africa’s people, government and institutions from drugs, crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit financial flows. Our Vision 2030 seeks to strengthen crime prevention, enhance justice, address organized crime, ensure a balanced response to drugs, improve the rule of law and bolster resilience.
The Office is committed to supporting the Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core. The 2030 Agenda clearly recognizes that the rule of law and fair, effective and humane justice systems, as well as health-oriented responses to drug use, are both enablers for and part of sustainable development.
The Secretary-General's bulletin on the Organization of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime