When choosing what countries to look at when comparing SDG project, I decided on Lebanon and Egypt. The reason why I chose this is because both countries are very different from another in political and economic sense. Lebanon is a country that have conflict and corruption is important while in Egypt, its not too much. In addition, Egypt is better political stability than Lebanon which reflects increasing population. According to World Factbook, Egypt population is 109,546,720, while Lebanon population is 5,331,203 as of 2023 (World Factbook, 2023). 


Lebanon Analysis

The primary focus of Lebanon podcast was the SDG 1, which is no poverty. This was a appropriate topic to focus since Lebanon economy is declining currently. According to The World Bank, Lebanon GDP was increasing gradually but had a deep decline in 2018-2019 (The World Bank, 2023). This decline has caused the country suffer financially – economic crisis, low income being common in household, increasing unemployment rates, and inflation. The podcast discussed that the economic decline occurred due to unstable policies made by the problematic government and corruption playing a large factor. The podcast discussed heavily on the role of government, as it was not a helpful source. Domestically, policy makers and government was creating corruption/conflict due to not being accountable and “pointing fingers” at other nations. In addition to the economic decline, Lebanon had refuges in the country due to Syria War, as both countries are neighbors. These refuges was not the same as Lebanon natives from job opportunities to income. Even though both natives and refuges, both made low wages due to economic decline, refuges made significantly less. The podcast discussed about international power, such as international aid being sent to refuges but not being enough help and international labor stating that majority of civilians have no jobs with protection. This establishes that international aid and power were no help. 

SDG 1 might not be accomplished in Lebanon, if their government does not open up to the civilians and be transparent. However, politicians ignore this and build no trust between civilians and not held accountable. In addition, Lebanon needs to get rid of the control that the wealthy class has, which is a significantly small portion. This ruins building the economy as a whole. 

Egypt Analysis

The primary focus of Egypt podcast was the SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institution). These certain topics interested me because I was not aware about Egypt suffering from food insecurity, as Egypt is known for being a tourist attraction with lavish lifestyle.  But when we hear the country Yemen or Syria, we instantly think about poverty and food insecurity. The podcast mentions that Egypt goal is to create a sustainable agriculture system that can result to lower food prices and fulfill SDG 2. But to make this goal happen, Egypt to focus on how to resolve international conflicts (cause decrease in international aid), rising populations and decrease inflation. Food insecurity has been an issue since 2011 and impacted civilians especially children severely. Domestically, Egypt created an organization called “Egypt Peace and Security” which aims to help solve SDG 2 and 16, by creating policies and land with agriculture to solve Egypt rising population. In addition, this organization has led the government to put a pause on rising food prices such as putting price tabs on breads. 

International aid has had a significant impact on Egypt. The World Food Program plays a important role by addressing food insecurity in Egypt and providing aids such as nutrition foods in schools by partnering with domestic partners such as organizations in Egypt. For international aid to happen long term, both Egypt and World Food Program need to collaborate because 10 million USD was needed to help Egypt for the duration of 6 months – United States have sent aid to Egypt through World Food Bank. Similarly, Egypt also has an issue with over population of refuges like Lebanon. This population of refuges adds to the overpopulation factor that result to food insecurity. 

Egypt is able to meet their SDGs goal if able to support domestically and internationally, both Egypt and international power have to work together to help obtain those goals.


To answer the question; How does the interaction of international and domestic factors empower or hinder some states of the Global South in making progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals compared to other states? This was a hard question to answer basing off the different podcast, because each country had different aid that was effective to them to reach their SDG goals. But after listening to the Lebanon and Egypt podcast, it is clear that both domestic and international aid is only effective when both are working together. In addition, another important factor is that if the country is willing to accept aid from international actors. In the two podcast, Egypt has accepted aid from international actor which was World Food Bank. When accepting this aid, Egypt has worked together with the World Food Bank to give out nutrition foods to school to help children receive food, as they are the new generation that will help run the economy by increasing employment. However, Lebanon corrupt government has provided no aid or even recongized the humanitarian crisis. International actors was the only aid in Lebanon by helping the refuges. 



  1. The World Bank. “Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (US Dollars).” The World Bank, Accessed April 18, 2024.
  2. “The World Factbook.” Central Intelligence Agency, Accessed April 18, 2024.
  3. “The World Factbook.” Central Intelligence Agency, Accessed April 18, 2024.







3 responses to “MENA & SDG’s”

  1. Griffin Moore Avatar
    Griffin Moore

    Your comparative analysis of Lebanon and Egypt’s progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) illustrates how internal and external factors can influence the effectiveness of international aid and achieving these goals.
    Your analysis highlights the impact of political instability and corruption on a country’s ability to meet the SDGs. While Egypt’s stable political environment fosters better collaboration with international bodies, Lebanon’s governance issues limit the effectiveness of domestic policies and international aid. Your reflection emphasizes the need for internal willingness and external support to work harmoniously for successful SDG progress.
    Overall, your blog post contributes to a nuanced understanding of how different states within the Global South can leverage international aid more effectively by fostering a supportive internal environment. This understanding is not only crucial for achieving the SDGs but also for instilling a sense of responsibility in ensuring that the benefits of such goals are distributed equitably among the population, including vulnerable groups like refugees and children.

  2. griffin Moore Avatar
    griffin Moore


  3. Grace Bennett Avatar
    Grace Bennett

    Hi! First I want to say thank you for such a thoughtful response to the blog post! I enjoyed the way you explained the effectiveness of the SDGs. I also listened to the Egypt podcast and I also felt similar to you in relation to food scarcity in Egypt. Do you think stronger institutions in Egypt would help or does there need to be a larger shift in other categories/across the board?

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