Preventing Crisis, Enabling Recovery
2012 Review of UNDP's Work in Conflict and Disaster-affected Countries
Empowering people in the face of disasters and conflicts is no easy task for any nation. Through its crisis prevention and recovery activities, UNDP helps build resilience, reduce the impact of disasters, and accelerate recovery from shocks. In many places around the world where conflicts and disasters escalated in 2012, we saw how crises can undermine development investment and cause terrible human suffering, especially in communities that are fragile and lack resilience.
During 2012, UNDP was active in 97 countries in assisting households, communities, and governments to prevent, confront, and respond to conflicts and disasters. Many of the stories from affected communities of survival, resilience, and determination to rebuild are inspirational. As a development agency, our work in crisis prevention and preparedness is about building fences at the top of a cliff, rather than placing ambulances at the bottom. Our work in recovery creates a bridge from emergency relief to sustainable development, so that communities can build back better and have greater resilience to future shocks.
Major highlights for 2012 included:
- After years of having one of the highest murder rates in the world, El Salvador recorded its first murder-free day since 2009.
- Since the widespread bloodshed of Kenya's 2007 elections, UNDP has worked to train police, peace councils, the government and civil society to use new technology to identify potential violent hot spots, and act, through improved security or mediation, to defuse local conflicts.
- In Ethiopia, which is still recovering from the drought in the Horn of Africa, more than 13,992 beneficiaries, 39 percent of whom were women, employed under UNDP schemes to rehabilitate infrastructure, with a special focus on disaster risk management structures, such as water storage facilities.
- In 2012, UNDP supported 23 countries affected by landmines and exposive remnants of war through mine risk education, clearance and victim assistance programmes.
- In The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN mission and UNDP helped prosecute alleged perpetrators of mass rapes. UNDP support allowed for military investigations and trials that resulted in three defendants being sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes against humanity.