Seeing disaster risk first hand in Nepal

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Roads are damaged in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley following the 25 April earthquake. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhus / UNDP Nepal

On the morning of Saturday, 25 April I was at a restaurant in Kathmandu when I felt a mild vibration of the floor similar to the one felt by the movement of a heavy vehicle. Before I could make out what it was, the vibrations became intense and the waiter just ran out the door of the 2nd floor restaurant. I immediately followed him, sprinting down the stairs. As the shaking became vigorous, I wasn’t able to stand any more. Somehow I managed to sit on the floor, slide down to ground floor, and escape to the middle of the road, away from the buildings.... Read more

An opportunity for women’s equality

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There is a new opportunity to establish gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, essential foundations for inclusive and sustainable development. Photo: Javier Sagredo/UNDP

The Beijing Platform envisages a world where every woman and girl can exercise their freedoms and choices and realize all their rights, including the rights to live free from violence, be educated, exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights choices, participate in decision-making, and earn equal pay for work of equal value.

Now, in 2015, there is a new opportunity to establish gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as both critical issues in their own right and as essential foundations for inclusive and sustainable development.... Read more

POPs Hunter: Smartphone game spreads serious message about pollutants

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Renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall shows support for the #StopthePops campaign during a visit to UNDP in Beijing. Photo: UNDP China

Heptachlor, Mirex, Toxaphene, Endrin – these are not part of our everyday vocabulary, but without knowing it many of us come into contact with them on a regular basis.

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice.... Read more

Why are drug policies relevant to the new global development agenda?

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Photo: UNDP/Brian Sokol

Imagine a world in which all people who have problems with substance abuse do not suffer stigma but are guided to find appropriate health, social, and job-related support. Imagine a world in which justice systems and prison systems effectively fulfill their objectives to provide justice and social rehabilitation. This also entails finding alternative solutions that prevent keeping thousands of people imprisoned while awaiting trial, or experiencing grave human rights violations. ... Read more

What role for the private sector in financing the new sustainable development agenda?

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Phasing out fossil fuels is one way to reduce investment in areas that can be harmful to the SDGs. Photo: UNDP in Somalia

The contribution the private sector can make through innovation, agility, ingenuity and financial resources can be better appreciated and maximized.

In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues... Read more

Nepal’s opportunity to seize the moment for the future of its people

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The need of the hour is to ensure that the generously contributed aid is disbursed in a timely and transparent manner and reaches people who need it most. Photo UNDP Nepal

When the elders in my family spoke of the 1934 earthquake, they talked about how scary it had been, and the damage it left behind. How Dharara, once the tallest structure in Kathmandu, was rebuilt. I was in Kathmandu this time around and it was terrifying to experience the earthquake. I took refuge in my aunt’s house, along with 25 other people whose homes, like many across the city, were either damaged or destroyed. ... Read more

Financing for development in resource-rich countries

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Photo: UNDP in Zimbabwe

Decline in commodity prices is threatening the availability of funds for development. A promising option for resource-rich countries is to capture a bigger share of the profits generated from the exploitation of their natural resources.

In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues... Read more

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

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Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi / UNDP Nepal.

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 mountain villages perched on hillsides require helicopters to distribute aid. Inadequate communications networks complicate the ability to understand and prioritise where relief is most needed.... Read more

Nepal: Why we must work together to reduce the risk of disasters in vulnerable countries

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In 2011, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark visited downtown Kathmandu for an 'eathquake walk' - a tour on disaster preparedness. Photo: Bikash Rauniyar/UNDP Nepal

In 2011, I went on an official tour of downtown Kathmandu called the “Earthquake Walk.” This tour, led by the government and other partners on disaster preparedness, was intended to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of residential and other buildings, including those of heritage and religious significance, to the next large earthquake that would strike the region one day. What I learned on the tour was alarming.... Read more

Indigenous youth and the post-2015 development agenda

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According to figures from ECLAC, there are more than 800 indigenous peoples in Latin America, with a total population of about 45 million. Photo: UNDP Colombia

Imagine that instead of excluding marginalized groups, we include them in the new international post-2015 development agenda. Now, imagine the future development agenda built on the enormous potential of indigenous peoples with their ancestral knowledge. Now combine this knowledge with the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and the mobilizing and transforming capacity of indigenous youth. Wouldn’t you listen to these voices?... Read more