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Fulfilling the promise

On a straw mat on a hot day in the courtyard of a Buddhist pagoda in 1992 was the first time I understood the mighty reach of the Universal…


Building a better future for Syrians in Turkey

As thousands leave Syria for safer lands, images of white tents and perilous boat journeys have flooded the world’s media. But there’s another side to this story. In Turkey, the host of this week’s…  


Leave no one and no city behind

The world has witnessed rapid and often unplanned urban growth. Cities are where the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost. Between now and 2030, the world’s urban population is…  


Since 1966, UNDP has worked for a more fair and prosperous world for all

Fifty years ago, one in every three people around the world was living in poverty. It was against that backdrop that the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, was founded in 1966. Ever…  


Gearing up to avoid a deeper crisis in Burundi

The situation in Burundi is extremely worrying. The political crisis comes on top of structural development problems, with repercussions in terms of humanitarian needs, social cohesion and the human…  


Securing our societies from the threat of senseless terrorism

Since 2000, we have witnessed a more than ten-fold increase in the number of deaths from violent extremism and terrorism - from 3,329 victims in 2000 to 32,685 in 2014. And the death toll keeps…  


Saving lives, preserving dignity, and securing the future in Syria

The whole world is acutely aware of the grim facts of the Syria crisis. Now into its fifth year, it’s claimed over 250,000 lives, displaced over 12 million from their homes, devastated the country,…  


Those who risk everything to find safety deserve a sense of security

Earlier this year, I learned the story of a Syrian woman named Nour.* Nour, like many of those affected by the conflict in Syria, was forced to flee her home and take up residence in a neighboring…  


Nepal: A lesson in the risks climate change poses to disaster-prone countries

As relief assistance rushes to Nepal after the earthquake, those efforts are being hampered by a number of factors. Weak existing infrastructure means many critical roads have been damaged. Remote…  



What pushes young people to extremism?

Last April, Mohamed, a carpenter in a fishing town along Kenya's coast, saw a photograph of Suleiman, the second of his five sons, on the evening news. The 24-year-old was among six young men declared…  


Cyclone Roanu is a reminder: We must focus on preventing crises, even as we respond to them

As the World Humanitarian Summit unfolds and leaders discuss the humanitarian impact of rising crises and disasters, half a million people are currently displaced in Bangladesh. Cyclone Roanu pummeled…  


Six reasons you should care about (yet) another international summit

On May 23rd, world leaders will come together for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in Istanbul. I know that sentence won't necessarily make you want to read on. I get it. But here…  


Transforming local communities amidst conflict

I’ve visited Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo several times over the last seven years. During this time, two violent conflicts took place between rebels and the Congolese state, with the citizens…  


If prevention is the best cure, we have to do better in fragile states

Not all humanitarian crises can be anticipated or prevented, but man-made crises involving conflict and state failure can be and must be. This puts states affected by conflict and fragility front and…  


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