The UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (ROMENA) is implementing a large portfolio of projects under 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). Some of such projects are listed below in accordance with the Regional Programme’s five priority subprogrammes:

Combating Organized Crime:

  1. “Dismantling Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Networks in North Africa” is a three-year (2019-2022) €15 million regional joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The project consists of a regional intervention covering Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to support the effective dismantling of criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, while at the same time upholding the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable groups. For more about the project click here. 
  2. “Support Lebanon’s Efforts in Addressing the Increased Risk of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion and COVID-19” is an initiative in Lebanon embarked upon in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion and COVID-19 in which UNODC cooperates with the Government, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and UN agencies to provide targeted protection services and capacity building to address the increased risk of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The project is funded by Austria.
  3. “Better Migration Management (BMM)” programme supports the authorities in countering human trafficking and improving the protection of victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants. The programme supports the National Committee to Combat Trafficking, the body that coordinates all measures related to countering human trafficking, including the protection of victims. Measures include strengthening legal frameworks, developing capacity, improving assistance, and raising awareness. The programme is also designed to enhance cross-border cooperation and collaboration between national law enforcement agencies and prosecutors on trafficking and smuggling cases. The project supports Sudan and South Sudan, is a collaboration between UNODC, Civipol, and GIZ in Sudan and is funded by the European Union and Germany.
  4. “Integrated Border Management (IBM)” project supports Jordan in border management through an integrated approach that counters transnational crime and enhances trade traffic for land, sea, and air border centers. The project is implemented in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and is funded by the European Union.   
  5. “The Airport Communications Project (AIRCOP)” is a multi-agency project implemented by UNODC in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO). It aims at strengthening the capacities of international airports to target and intercept high-risk passengers, cargo and mail, as a contribution to the fight against illicit drugs and other illicit commodities (such as wildlife products or falsified medical products), terrorism-related threats (such as arms or potential foreign terrorist fighters), trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. It also aims at facilitating communication and coordination between origin, transit and destination countries to disrupt cross-border illicit flows and criminal networks. Since 2017, AIRCOP has been collaborating with national authorities in the Middle East and North Africa, to provide safer airports for safer countries through nationally tailored interventions addressing the most eminent airports threats across the region.
  6. “The UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP)” is working with customs and law enforcement agencies on enhancing border security by establishing and maintaining effective container controls using risk management techniques that will facilitate legitimate trade and secure international trade supply chain which is vital for sustainable development. The programme is actively promoting and encouraging gender equality and the empowerment of women through the Women's Network initiative, launched in 2015, and ‘Customs, Cargo and Women – A talk for her!’ initiative, launched in 2021. The CCP is supporting the continuous strengthening of capacities of women officers in a truly representative manner and is encouraging gender-sensitized recruitment for a culture of greater inclusivity and diversity. The project is funded by Australia, the European Union, Germany, Norway, and US/EXBS.
  7. "Global Maritime Crime Programme” The Gulf of Aden sub-programme of UNODC's Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) assists Yemen in addressing maritime crime. Under the programme, UNODC is supporting the capacities of the Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) authorities and the rebuilding of the Yemen Coastguard (YCG).
  8. “Strengthening the Capacities of Iraqi Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation Services” project works with Iraqi law enforcement agencies and forensic entities, to respond to the challenges posed by organized criminal groups and illicit trafficking. The activities engage with first responders, forensic personnel, and crime scene investigators, to enable them to provide credible and reliable forensic services. The project is funded by the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (US INL).
  9. “Supporting Tunisian Capacities to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime” is a project in which UNODC works with Tunisia to build and develop an effective counter-cybercrime approach. Cybercrime is an evolving form of transnational crime. The complex nature of the crime as one that takes place in the borderless realm of cyberspace is compounded by the increasing involvement of organized crime groups. Perpetrators of cybercrime and their victims can be in different regions, and its effects can ripple through societies around the world, highlighting the need to mount an urgent, dynamic and international response.

Countering Terrorism:

  1. "Responding to Violent Extremism and Terrorism, Focusing on a Tailored Approach Towards Rehabilitating Children Perceived as Associated/Affiliated with ISIL in Iraq”  UNODC is delivering technical assistance to reinforce the capacity of criminal justice and law enforcement to prevent and counter-terrorism and more specifically through this project, respond to violent extremism and terrorism through a tailored approach to dealing with children perceived as associated and or affiliated with ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq. The project is funded by Japan.
  2. “Supporting Victims of Acts of Terrorism” In compliance with the mandate conferred to it by General Assembly resolutions 64/168 (2009) and 66/178 (2011) and subsequent relevant resolutions, and in accordance with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, UNODC is focusing on the key role that victims of acts of terrorism can play before, during and after criminal legal proceedings, as well as on their needs for assistance and support. UNODC is working with the Member States to strengthen the implementation of national legislation and policies that support and protect victims of acts of terrorism.

Combating Corruption and Financial Crimes:

  1. "Building Libya’s National Capacity to Prevent and Combat Corruption and Money Laundering” is a three-year €2.5 million project by the European Union, UNODC and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). The project focuses on training Libyan authorities and law enforcement agencies on countering corruption and financial crimes and tracing, confiscating and recovering assets linked to such crimes.
  2. “Strengthen the Private Sector Capacity to Prevent Corruption and Enhance Integrity in the Arab Countries” is a four-year project funded under the Third Funding Round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative that works with several countries in the region, including Egypt, Iraq, Libya, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to introduce legislative improvements to countering corruption in the private sector; improve communication between the public and private sectors by providing a common venue for further interaction, dialogue and knowledge sharing; and provide guidance to companies and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop their anti-corruption code of ethics and compliance programmes.
  3. “Mitigate Corruption Risks and Fight Corruption in 3 Strategic Areas” project falls under The Anti-corruption project falls under the Global Programme on Anti-Corruption that aims to prevent and stop corruption through effective implementation of United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). UNODC seeks to establish safe and ethical procedures for the handling of complaint systems of the “whistle-blowers”. Within the framework of the “3RF,” UNODC partnership with UNDP aims to help Lebanon achieve three central goals in response to the Beirut port explosion and to mitigate corruption risks and fight corruption in 3 strategic areas through improving governance and accountability, improving services and infrastructure, social protection, inclusion, and culture. The Lebanon Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework is part of a comprehensive response to the massive explosion on the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020. It is a people-centered recovery and reconstruction framework focusing on a period of 18 months that will bridge the immediate humanitarian response and the medium-term recovery and reconstruction efforts to put Lebanon on a path of sustainable development. The project is funded by Denmark and Norway.

Strengthening Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice:

  1. "Restorative approach to juvenile justice: Socio-educative model of reintegration and alternative measures to detention” is a project in Egypt working with social care institutions to support the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law. The project supports children with psycho-social services, literacy classes and certification, vocational training, reintegration programmes amongst other areas of support such as legal and social assistance. The project is funded by the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation (AICS).
  2. “Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration: Towards the Promotion of a Culture of Lawfulness” is implemented by UNODC in the West Bank, Palestine to help youth stay away from violence and crime and build resilience. This is by utilising the power of sports, physical activity and teamwork. The activities are in collaboration with the relevant Ministries, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), youth clubs and CSOs.
  3. “Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls in the West Bank and Gaza - HAYA Programme” is a joint UN programme by UNODC, UN Women, UNFPA, and UNHabitat in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestine. The programme works with the Government, CSOs, universities and municipalities and village councils amongst other partners and focuses on changing harmful practices and attitudes that contribute to violence against women and girls (VAW&G) within targeted households and communities and increasing women and girls’ access to necessary services within police and justice sectors. One of UNODC’s focus areas within the project is expanding the forensic services provided to survivors of VAW&G. The Project is funded by the Government of Canada.
  4. “Strengthening the Capacity of the Egyptian Public Prosecution to Contribute to a Better Protection of Human Rights within the Criminal Justice System” Under this project, UNODC works in coordination with the Egyptian Public Prosecution to enhance the capacities of prosecutors so that they deal more efficiently with those in contact with the criminal justice system, with respect to Human Rights and in line with the relevant international standards and norms. The project is funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) United States of America (USA).
  5. “Supporting the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners (VEP) and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons” is a four-year joint initiative by UNODC and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), in close coordination with United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), as a response to the emerging and significant challenge of potential radicalization to violence in prisons. The project supports the Tunisia Prison administration in the management of VEP as well as in promoting better prison conditions from a gender perspective and in compliance with international human rights standards, including the Nelson Mandela Rules. The Preventing Violent Extremism project is funded by the European Union, the Netherlands and UNCCT.
  6. “Supporting the Establishment of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Treatment Programmes in Prison Settings, in Line with Relevant International Standards” UNODC and Tunisia partner in this project to establish an effective approach to reduce recidivism in Tunisia through the implementation of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This would be possible through improving the capacities of the General Committee for Prisons and Rehabilitation (CGPR) to better prevent violent behavior of offenders in prison and after release, most specifically the most vulnerable such as those with substance abuse, drugs and alcohol. A core element under all outcomes of the project is the management of and support to vulnerable detainees, including the development and introduction of CBT programmes in the selected prisons as well as post-release support to detainees. The project is funded by INL, USA.

Prevention of Drug Use, Treatment and Care of Drug Use Disorders and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care:

  1. “HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support among people who use drugs and living in closed settings in the Middle East and North Africa” is a UNODC project implemented in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia that aims at supporting the Member States, national authorities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in providing access and utilization of gender-sensitive and comprehensive health care services including HIV, viral hepatitis, and drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation to people who use drugs and living in closed settings. The project is generously funded by Australia, Drosos Foundation, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and UNAIDS.
  2. “Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme” is an initiative that focuses on reducing the trafficking of dangerous substances, with a special focus on dangerous new psychoactive substances (NPS) not yet under international control and non-medical synthetic opioids by enhancing communication platforms between the Member States on incidents involving such substances, engaging in public-private partnerships, focusing on legitimate industries exploited in the manufacture, marketing, monetization, and movement of dangerous substances, and coordinating support of multilateral operations, investigations, and communication with a focus on newly emerging dangerous substances. The project is funded by Canada, Japan, and the USA.