UNDP and Japan Expand Partnership for a Better Future in the Arab World

Apr 14, 2014

Benabdessalam Hadda, 24, was lifted from unemployment by a Japan-funded programme in Algeria. She now works as a psychologist for an NGO in the north-central part of the country. Photo: UNDP/Nabil Zenati

New York —The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week launched the third phase of a major initiative in support of transition in the Arab States region, expanding the partnership to cover 14 countries with the addition of Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

“UNDP’s partnership with Japan in the Arab States region is focused on the most critical issues in each country where we are working together,” said Sima Bahous, Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States. “We are thankful to the Government and the People of Japan for their timely and relevant support.”

The announcement comes at a critical time for the Arab region, which for over three years has been swept by a major wave of change which brings with it new opportunities — but also new risks.

This third phase builds upon work that has been ongoing since 2012 in Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, on critical issues ranging from support for youth employment, to support for electoral and constitution-drafting processes, and support for development responses to the Syria crisis.

Originally launched as a response to the wave of change that began to sweep the region in early 2011, the initiative is intended to help the Arab region achieve stability and resilience during a time of transition, and covers work spanning 2012 to 2014 with a total budget of USD 106 million, under Japan’s Supplementary Budget.

For UNDP and the Government of Japan the most important requirement is that the resources disbursed lead to concrete and tangible results for the peoples of the Arab region. On 17-18 March UNDP and government counterparts from across the region met in Algeria to exchange experiences and test ideas for accelerated delivery and enhanced impact of this joint work, in particular in the area of engaging youth in job creation and nation-building.

At the event, His Excellency Mr. Tsukasa Kawada, Ambassador of Japan in Algeria, described the promotion of youth employment as one of the most fundamental and effective policies to achieve economic growth, and cited stronger growth in the Arab world as important for this region and indeed for the international community as a whole.

Contact information

Theodore Murphy: Tel + (212) 906 5890 Email: theodore.murphy@undp.org

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