Our Perspective

      • 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 in Read 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 jobs Read More

      • Young people: Shaping the world’s future

        06 Sep 2011

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        Young men and women are gathered at a special event in the UN, New York, as part of the activities of the International Year of Youth. (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

        Taking part in last month’s United Nations High Level Meeting on Youth, I was inspired by the commitment and dynamism of the women and men aged 15 to 24 buzzing around me. Some 500 young environmental and civic activists and entrepreneurs put their minds together in New York 25-26 July to respond to some of today’s most pressing global challenges. They looked head-on at the impact of being out of work and of living in poverty – situations that a majority of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are facing. Overseeing partnership and cooperation efforts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), we bring together governments, the media, civil society and the private sector to focus on exactly these issues. UNDP has been helping countries around the world with the design of fresh policies for job creation as a means for cutting poverty, particularly for younger generations.   For example, today we are working to empower young people in Arab states, where they are experiencing unemployment at a rate twice the global average. In Tunisia, we’re currently designing training and promoting entrepreneurship for youth in the province of Medenine whose economy has been badly affected by the Libyan crisis. In Egypt, we’re Read More

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The Speakers Corner helps connect think tanks, academia, the media and the public to a diverse group of experts who can speak to UNDP’s commitment to “empower lives” and build "resilient nations.”

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