Social welfare in the twenty-one countries of the Middle East and North Africa has been influenced by local cultural, political, social, and economic traditions, as well as imported models of social welfare. But each country has evolved differently due to distinctive historical, socioeconomic, and demographic factors. This entry focuses primarily on how the ideals of social welfare have been established within these countries throughout the past century. It discusses how various colonial assumptions have blended with the local, and how colonial and postcolonial circumstances have intersected with social welfare by way of geopolitical conflict and interethnic disputes and weakened political institutions and socioeconomic effects related to poverty, inequality, and political repression. This entry examines, first, the economic, social, and political features of social welfare services in different countries at various stages of development. After this, it examines social policy and welfare services and how they are influenced and fostered in different countries. Next it looks at the role of social work and social service education and the relevance of this sector among the different regions. The final section recognizes the trends and challenges facing this sector in an ever-changing world as these countries continue to develop regional models of practice. The focus throughout is on major works in the field, for no one document could cover all of the myriad scholarship that has been published.