Our Perspective

      • Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction Saves Lives

        12 Oct 2011

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        Local Risk Management Committee volunteers in a UNDP-supported training exercise transferring injured people to a tent offering first aid in Mozambique. Credit: UNDP Mozambique

        2011 International Day for Disaster Reduction, October 13 The 21st century has been marked by an escalating impact of disasters from natural hazards and the huge loss of life and destruction of livelihoods and communities that come with them. In 2010, nearly 400,000 people were killed by disasters worldwide and more than 200 million people were affected. Economic damage was estimated at USD 110 billion. Disasters seriously undermine, or even reverse, years of hard-won progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals. Now more than ever, reducing disaster risks and preparing to respond to disasters should remain a top priority for every government in disaster-prone countries and for all of us working with such countries. The message is clear: investing in disaster risk reduction saves lives and secures hard-won development gains. Over the past 10 years, UNDP has worked with national governments in more than 50 high disaster-risk countries to strengthen governance structures and institutions for better prevention, mitigation and management of disaster risks, as well as more effective responses to disasters. Governments, with support from the international community, need to engage in building resilience on a sustained basis to address disaster risk reduction as an integral part of development.   Impressive reduction in Read More

      • Cote d’Ivoire: Working towards recovery

        28 Sep 2011

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        Internally Displaced Persons in Côte d'Ivoire. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

        Since re-opening the UNDP office in Côte d’Ivoire some four months ago, we have been working together with NGOs along the western border with Liberia, assisting recently-returned internally displaced people who had moved following a political crisis triggered by the disputed December 2010 election. More than 20,000 people now have better access to water through rehabilitated water pumps and water treatment of 100 wells. Almost 5,000 youth are engaged in some UNDP-supported income-generating activity related to agricultural processing, small trading initiatives, among others. In addition to reintegrating hundreds of thousands of displaced people, Ivoirians face other urgent challenges, including rebuilding trust among the population, and restoring security and rule of law. The economy, historically one of West Africa’s strongest, was also disrupted. The government, the UN and other local partners cannot do it alone, and the gaps are huge. As of 22 September, the Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries affected by the crisis is funded at 28 per cent with some US$81 million contributed against a total requirement of US$ 291 million. Going forward UNDP’s main focus will be to support the government to restore security and institutions of governance, and find ways to generate jobs Read More

      • Don't Turn Away From the World's Most Violent Region

        29 Aug 2011

        Even though the era of civil conflict in Central America is over, the region has the highest murder rate in the world: 44 per 100,000 people, 11 times the worldwide average of four per 100,000. This means more than 18,000 homicides in 2010 and 79,000 in the past six years. The late 1990s saw new democratic consolidation and economic growth in Central America, with admittedly mixed results. But the absence of outright war failed to bring peace, and sustained global efforts are now essential if we are to prevent the region’s already grave security crisis from worsening. Citizens feel unsafe on the streets, and even in their own homes. For their part, governments have to tackle the threat of drug-trafficking, kidnapping, organised crime, gangs, arms-dealing, and human-trafficking. Direct costs include loss of life, disability, and the illicit trade that results from crimes against property. Huge social inequality and under-employment among younger citizens form the backdrop for this insecurity, which goes beyond the domain of the war against drugs. Insecurity exacts a grimly quantifiable toll on both GDP and human development, thwarting the capacity both of individuals and of whole societies to fulfil their potential in this ever more global economy. The Read More