Our Perspective

      • Focusing on prices of HIV medicines in middle-income countries | Tenu Avafia & Katie Kirk

        27 Jun 2013

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        Low-income countries are often offered special arrangements by pharmaceutical companies on medicine to treat HIV. Middle-income countries are left out of these arrangements and must address the challenge of helping their citizens access the drugs. (Photo: UNDP)

        A key determinant of middle-income countries meeting their health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be their ability to sustain and expand access to treatment for HIV and its co-infections, like TB and Hepatitis C. By 2020, the majority of people living with HIV will be living in middle-income countries, such as South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Ecuador and Thailand. Yet at the same time as new, more effective medicines to treat HIV emerge, many of these countries, based on their average income levels, are increasingly being left out of special arrangements offered by pharmaceutical companies to low-income countries, such as price discounts or voluntary licenses to use their patents. For instance, in 2011, using Global Fund grants, HIV medicine Darunavir was offered to Sub-Saharan African countries at US $1,095 per patient per year. Meanwhile, Nicaragua and Moldova (middle-income countries) had to buy that same medicine at $7,424 and $9,188 respectively. This pricing challenge will test the 2011 commitment made by UN Member States, at a UN High-level Meeting on AIDS , to place 15 million people in need on antiretroviral treatment by 2015. Eighteen middle-income countries and stakeholders met in Brasilia in June to confront these challenges. Whether discussing intellectual property, drugRead More

      • Local governance is the cornerstone of an effective post-2015 framework | Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

        24 Jun 2013

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        A district police chief meets with local village heads and religious leaders in Farza, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Through a UNDP-supported programme, citizens in Afghanistan are cooperating with police officers in community-policing initiatives. (Photo: Sayeed Farhad Zalmai/UNDP Afghanistan)

        Critical objectives of the post-2015 development agenda such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and exclusion, and achieving environmental sustainability, depend on local action and leadership coordinated with all levels of governance. There is no doubt that effective development and service delivery require viable multi-level governance. At a recent meeting on Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG), I challenged development partners to go beyond advocating for local governments and to take more concrete actions to integrate them into decision-making processes. I encouraged them to improve their methodologies for facilitating governance at the local level, particularly in post-conflict and fragile situations. Beyond service delivery, local governments are critical agents for reconciliation and the re-establishment of the social contract between the state and the people. Decentralization and local governance partners agree that effective local development requires not only a multi-level process but also a multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach. At UNDP, we recognize from knowledge and experience that effective development requires multi-level governance which will close the policy gaps, deal with capacity deficiencies, and look at resource inadequacies. The three-day event – where the United Nations (UNDP, UNCDF, and UN-Habitat) hosted representatives of 27 multilateral and bilateral organizations on effective multi-level governance – was also anRead More

      • Scaling up local development innovations to reduce poverty and inequality | Selim Jahan

        18 Jun 2013

        A video on UNDP's work, presented to the Executive Board. (UNDP)

        'Think global, act local’ is a motto critical for development. And this, I believe, is at the heart of scaling up. By expanding small, successful projects to the national level, informing policies and strengthening institutions, scaling up can ensure coverage, impact, and sustainability for programmes aimed at supporting some of the world’s poorest people. UNDP and its partners around the world are working with governments to sustain and scale up successful innovations that provide opportunities to as many vulnerable and marginalized groups as possible. The need remains urgent. While we have achieved great progress toward some of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, current projections indicate that in 2015 almost 1 billion people will be living on less than US $1.25 per day. Through the Republic of Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund, we are supporting nine countries to scale up proven development solutions. To date, these projects have helped to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people. These include: • In Colombia, job centres that offer business counseling, entrepreneurship training, and career opportunities opened up across the country, focusing particularly on vulnerable communities. More than 21,000 people, 59 percent women, have already been trained and 7,000 businesses developed, generating nearlyRead More

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