MENA is an English-language acronym referring to the Middle East and North Africa, which corresponds to the Greater Middle East. It is alternatively called the WANA, as well as the MENAP, which also includes Central Asia and the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The MENAP covers an extensive region stretching from the Maghreb in the west to Pakistan in the east. The MENA acronym is often used in academia, military planning, disaster relief, media planning as a broadcast region, and business writing. Moreover, the region shares a number of cultural, economic and environmental similarities across the countries; for example, some of the most extreme impacts of climate change will be felt in the region.

List of countries

MENA has no standardized definition; different organizations define the region as consisting of different territories.
List of countries and territories most commonly constitute MENA.
Additional countries and territories that are sometimes counted as part of MENA:
*Non-sovereign territories.

Economy and education

The MENA region has vast reserves of petroleum and natural gas that make it a vital source of global economic stability. According to the Oil and Gas Journal, the MENA region has 60% of the world's oil reserves and 45% of the world's natural gas reserves.
As of 2011, 8 of the 15 OPEC nations are within the MENA region.
According to Pew Research Center, 40% of the adult population in MENA has completed less than a year of primary school. The fraction is higher for women, of whom half have been to school for less than a year.


is by far the dominant religion in nearly all of the MENA territories; 91.2% of the population is Muslim. The Middle East-North Africa region comprises 20 countries and territories with an estimated Muslim population of 315 million or about 23% of the world's Muslim population. The term "MENA" is often defined in part in relation to majority-Muslim countries located in the region, although several nations in the region are not Muslim-dominated.


Climate change

Instability in the region

Due to rich resources, mainly oil and gas, combined with its location between three continents,, the MENA region has been in conflict since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire; notably due to the creation of Israel, a Jewish state among Arab and Muslim countries; Israeli–Palestinian conflict; the Iran–Iraq War; Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict; and the rise of terrorism. Conflict in the region had come to its highest peak so far in the 21st century, with incidents such as the U.S. intervention of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent Iraq War and the rise of ISIS; the Arab Spring, which spread war to throughout the region such as the Syrian Civil War, Libyan Civil War and Yemeni Civil War.

Controversy over term

Due to the geographic ambiguity and Eurocentric nature of the term "Middle East", some people prefer use other terms like WANA or the less common NAWA. MENA region remains the most common term and is used by most organizations, academia, and political entities flexibly, including those in the region itself.

Other terms

From April 2013, the International Monetary Fund started using a new analytical region called MENAP, which adds Afghanistan and Pakistan to MENA countries.
Now MENAP is a prominent economic grouping in IMF reports.
The term MENAT has been used to include Turkey in the list of MENA countries.