The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is facing the challenge of lingering droughts. Precipitation and soil moisture are two Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that are relevant for drought monitoring. We assessed the discrepancies in drought monitoring using remote sensing data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (ESA-CCI) and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data (ERA5). A standardized index approach is applied to the four datasets. The indices are spatially and temporally consistent except for the ESA-CCI soil moisture (SM) dataset. The indices depict drought events over the North-West Africa region and show that the TRMM standardized precipitation index (SPI), ERA5 SPI and standardized soil moisture index (SMI) detect drought events in the Near East. A binary classification analysis showed that the indices can accurately and precisely identify drought events across the MENA region except for North East Africa. The indices show that the MENA region was recently under severe to extreme drought conditions, which are driving the exploitation of available water resources in an unsustainable manner. A focus on the Haouz Plain, Morocco, and Aleppo, Syria, shows the critical situation, while the conditions over Al Jazirah, Sudan, are less critical.