UNDP Reviews Programmes to Provide Better Services in Conflict Areas

18 Aug 2005

UNDP REVIEWS PROGRAMMES TO PROVIDE BETTER SERVICES IN CONFLICT AREAS

Kathmandu, 18 August 2005 - UNDP reached an agreement with the Government on a number of strategic and immediate measures bringing fundamental changes to its country programme framework in Nepal. This initiative is part of an ambitious exercise where the organization is reviewing its programme effectiveness, mode of delivery and safety and security of its project staff at the field level. The objective is to ensure its programmes remain relevant, effective and responsive to the evolving situation precipitated by the conflict.

As part of this exercise, UNDP is planning on establishing a Pilot Programme Field Office in Nepalgunj. A UNDP team just returned from Western Nepal to survey the area and assess the needs for the establishment of this office. This pilot programme field office will be responsible for the coordination and monitoring of projects in over 20 districts of the mid and far western regions of Nepal. This initiative will help address the issue of access and security of staff and ensure speedy implementation of activities at the community level. Depending on the outcome of the pilot, similar set-ups would be opened in other conflict sensitive areas.

“The ongoing conflict has slowed the delivery of aid in the affected areas due to the lack of access to the remote communities affected by the conflict and issue of security of project staff. This is an important step which will help improve the effectiveness of our programmes and ensure that we address the root causes of the conflict and mitigate its impact on the population", said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ghulam Isaczai.

According to the agreement, UNDP will now be carrying out activities and delivering services directly to the affected communities in conflict areas. Given the difficult access to these areas, these measures will enable direct response to the needs of the people and ensure full accountability.

At present, UNDP works in over 1000 villages across 70 districts of Nepal, advocating for democratic governance reform, reducing human poverty, as well as campaigning for better management of energy and environment resources, and equal rights for women. UNDP spent US$35.7 million between 2002 and 2004, and another US$ 33.9 million is being tabled for the next 3 years programme cycle.