Our Perspective

      • Investing in sustainable development is not a choice, it’s the only option

        13 Oct 2011

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        Solar panels provide heat and electricity for homes in rural Botswana. (Photo: UNDP)

        International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October 2011 This month, as we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the number of people on our planet is estimated to reach 7 billion. A secure and peaceful future for our world requires that they all have access to sustainable sources of food and water, and the means to enjoy a decent living. Investing in sustainable development is no longer a question of choice. It is the only option. That is why a meaningful outcome from the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil next June is so critical. Twenty years after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit set a forward looking agenda for sustainable development, we have a unique opportunity at Rio+20 to review progress on that agenda, examine the gaps in it and the new needs, and reach agreement on how to move ahead together. At UNDP we believe that truly sustainable development for present and future generations must safeguard ecosystems while also enabling economic and social progress. Sustainable development will also build countries’ resilience to external shocks and protect development gains. It is particularly critical to ensure that the most vulnerable are notRead More

      • Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction Saves Lives

        12 Oct 2011

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        Local Risk Management Committee volunteers in a UNDP-supported training exercise transferring injured people to a tent offering first aid in Mozambique. Credit: UNDP Mozambique

        2011 International Day for Disaster Reduction, October 13 The 21st century has been marked by an escalating impact of disasters from natural hazards and the huge loss of life and destruction of livelihoods and communities that come with them. In 2010, nearly 400,000 people were killed by disasters worldwide and more than 200 million people were affected. Economic damage was estimated at USD 110 billion. Disasters seriously undermine, or even reverse, years of hard-won progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals. Now more than ever, reducing disaster risks and preparing to respond to disasters should remain a top priority for every government in disaster-prone countries and for all of us working with such countries. The message is clear: investing in disaster risk reduction saves lives and secures hard-won development gains. Over the past 10 years, UNDP has worked with national governments in more than 50 high disaster-risk countries to strengthen governance structures and institutions for better prevention, mitigation and management of disaster risks, as well as more effective responses to disasters. Governments, with support from the international community, need to engage in building resilience on a sustained basis to address disaster risk reduction as an integral part of development.   Impressive reduction inRead More

      • Cote d’Ivoire: Working towards recovery

        28 Sep 2011

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        Internally Displaced Persons in Côte d'Ivoire. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

        Since re-opening the UNDP office in Côte d’Ivoire some four months ago, we have been working together with NGOs along the western border with Liberia, assisting recently-returned internally displaced people who had moved following a political crisis triggered by the disputed December 2010 election. More than 20,000 people now have better access to water through rehabilitated water pumps and water treatment of 100 wells. Almost 5,000 youth are engaged in some UNDP-supported income-generating activity related to agricultural processing, small trading initiatives, among others. In addition to reintegrating hundreds of thousands of displaced people, Ivoirians face other urgent challenges, including rebuilding trust among the population, and restoring security and rule of law. The economy, historically one of West Africa’s strongest, was also disrupted. The government, the UN and other local partners cannot do it alone, and the gaps are huge. As of 22 September, the Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries affected by the crisis is funded at 28 per cent with some US$81 million contributed against a total requirement of US$ 291 million. Going forward UNDP’s main focus will be to support the government to restore security and institutions of governance, and find ways to generate jobsRead More