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Our Mission and Values


For more than two decades, human rights activists and organizations in the Arab region called for the establishment of an indigenous fund to support their work to promote and defend human rights. With financial and administrative support from the Ford Foundation, a committee was formed to explore the feasibility of establishing an endowed and sustainable funding agency devoted to supporting long-term efforts to advance human rights and the rule of law.

The Preparatory Committee, composed of Fateh Azzam, Atallah Kuttab, Amin Mekki Meddani, and Mona Younis, and coordinated by Yousry Moustafa, began its work in 2002. Over the course of the next three years the Committee commissioned a series of studies and consulted widely to determine how best to set up a funding entity inside the region. From the start the Committee envisioned an organization that would both fund promising work and initiatives inside the region and spur others in the region to do the same. Encouraged by their findings and the enthusiastic support received at home and abroad, the Committee laid the foundations for the launch of the Arab Human Rights Fund in 2008.


The Arab Human Rights Fund (AHRF) is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization that provides support for the promotion and realization of all human rights in the Arab region.

The AHRF defines ‘all human rights’ as those enumerated in the International Bill of Rights and all international instruments dealing with human rights and humanitarian law. It carries out its responsibilities and programs in accordance with these rights and principles without discrimination by reason of gender, ethnicity, religion, national or social status, political opinion or any other distinction.

The AHRF is independent of any governmental, political, religious or other interests and is committed to operating with transparency and accountability


The Arab Human Rights Fund is dedicated to:

  • Providing financial and technical support to human rights defenders and organizations in the Arab region.
  • Securing resources for human rights initiatives and the human rights community from foundations and individuals in the region and among the Diaspora.
  • Promoting social justice and human rights philanthropy to ensure sustainable support for the long-term efforts of human rights defenders in the region.

Transparency and Accountability

In 2010, in keeping with its commitment to excellence, the Board of Directors commissioned an independent evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the Fund and its overall progress in fulfilling its mandate. In 2011 the Fund carried out intensive institutional work to address the recommendations of the evaluator. To receive a summary of the evaluator’s report, please email

Legal Status

The Arab Human Rights Fund is a philanthropic organization registered as a non-profit foundation, or Stichting in The Netherlands, where its liquid assets are maintained.  The Fund’s main office is in Beirut, Lebanon, where it is a registered branch of “AHRF Stichting.”