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Bringing light to Afghanistan's villages

At night, apart from the occasional flickering light of a kerosene lamp, Amir Hussain's village used to be shrouded in darkness. Until recently, the 150 families living in Sarasyab Shekhani, in Afghanistan’s remote mountainous northern Samangan Province, didn't have access to electricity. "My more

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For day-to-day life in Georgia,
a return to normality

Nana Tskharozia is a school teacher in Chuburkhinji, in Georgia’s Abkhazia region. Keeping school premises tidy hasn’t always been easy, with the building deteriorating and in need of repair. But this year the Chubukhinji School is greeting children with freshly painted walls, a fixed roof and refurmore

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Communities adapt to extreme weather conditions in India

For people living in the floodplains of the Mahanadi river delta in the Indian state of Odisha, life is full of extremes. For six months of the year, from July to December, miles of paddy fields, roads and homes are flooded with water. But three months later, water is in short supply, affecting evermore

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Reviving Iran's drylands

Zari Sa’adati, a 35-year-old woman living in Eastern Iran, used to fear she could not support her family in the barren environment of Hossein Abad valley. “My family was about to migrate to the city nearby in search of a living,” she says. Degraded by over-grazing, wood-cutting for fuel, and severe more

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In FYR Macedonia, supporting entrepreneurs to build new lives

As soon as she completed her dentistry studies, Arta Alija applied for as many jobs as she could at state clinics. But the 30-year-old from Tetovo, Macedonia, had no luck. Although the number of people enrolling in undergraduate and graduate programs has risen in recent years, the percentage of unemmore

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In Egypt, small farmers embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

When the Arab Spring blew over Egypt in early 2011, most investors predicted chaos and fled, pushing already massive unemployment even higher and plunging the economy into profound uncertainty. But Mohamed Embarak, a farmer in Upper Egypt, saw only opportunity. With four others, Embarak invested hmore

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In Belize, teaching youth life-skills to prepare for workplace

For Diangelo Ramos, a young man living in Belize, surviving after he was thrown out of his house at 13 took determination and courage. “I was drinking at school, missing classes,” he recalled. ”My teacher said she would not give up on me because she knew I could change.” Diangelo participated in a more

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In Bhutan, cooperatives help villagers turn chores into profit

Ten years ago, 44-year-old Karma Choeni Dema, a divorcee and mother of seven children in Bhutan, may not have imagined herself as the breadwinner of the family. She survived on the little that was harvested from the land that they owned. Today, Karma is the chairwoman of the Shershong Cooperative inmore

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In Niger, women living with HIV build businesses and fresh starts

The daily life of S.O.* resembles that of many other women in Niger. But this 46-year-old HIV-positive woman and mother of six has come a long way. In 2004, she discovered she was HIV positive. “It was as if the sky had fallen on my head,” she recounts, her voice full of emotion. “It was like a deatmore

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Saving Ugandan coffee from the effects of climate change

In the village of Kok, about 240 km from Kampala, Uganda, Robert Toskin runs his hands through a bag of raw coffee beans. “Coffee is an important cash crop in this area," says the farmer. "People grow food for their own consumption, but the revenue from coffee production helps pay for thinmore

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Businesses bloom in Sudan

Picking flowers is not generally considered hazardous, but Alhadi Ibrahim Muhammed is using a gargara for his protection as he plucks blooms from a hibiscus plant. The small, metal tool allows him to avoid painful skin reactions as he picks the colourful crop.   Muhammed, a 45-year-old farmer more

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Through village courts,
justice for all in Bangladesh

When Jahanara Begum’s sons stole mangoes from a neighbour’s garden, what should have been a petty incident of children’s mischief escalated into a violent confrontation between Jahanara and her neighbour. Angry at Jahanara, her neighbour assaulted her and injured her eye, which then required expensimore

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Yemen: Women painters brush up on job skills

Beside stuccoed walls at the 7th of July Girls School in the capital city of Sana'a, there is an unusual sight for Yemen: seventeen young women in light blue aprons are hard at work painting. “I'm happy to learn this new skill so I can take care of my 3-year-old daughter,” says Yusra*, an 18-year-olmore

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Guatemala: Laying a mother to rest after 31 years

In Guatemala, UNDP is helping some of the family members of more than 45,000 victims of the country’s “disappeared” to finally find out what happened to their loved ones. The murmur of chanting and the smell of incense fill the air in a small house in Rabinal, about 50 km from Guatemala City. A Maymore

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Mobile courts bring justice to rural Pakistan

In a remote village in the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, court is in session. The stenographer is typing away, the judge is listening intently and the air conditioner strains to keep the room cool as two property dealers from Hayatabad argue over US $6,000. But this is no ordinary courtroom. Thismore

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Nigeria: A tale of two chiefs

On a muggy day in June, hundreds of men, women and children from the Agila community, in north central Nigeria, dance to the beat of drums. Two chiefs--once at war--exchange a white sash as a symbol of peace and embrace. The crowd shouts. Peace has finally returned to Agila. Fifteen years ago, thimore

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Village's savings group keeps livelihoods afloat in Cambodia

Srun Bun Thuon, a fisherman from the Koh Kong province on the southwestern coast of Cambodia, saw his family’s life crumble seven years ago when he had to sell off his house to repay a microfinance debt. “Even our daughter’s earrings were not spared. I took them off her ears to sell to pay off the dmore

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Maldives: Preserving biodiversity while starting businesses

Not long ago, Amira Sulaiman’s days were consumed by housework. These days she can be found deep in concentration making traditional medicines, grinding together special ointments for massages and pain relief. In the small hut where she works, subtle aromas of coconut, Indian-mallow and clove waft tmore

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Migrant worker returns to Nepal to build new business and rebuild life

Dhal Bahadur Karki, 37, spent much of his adult life working as a wage labourer. A skilled carpenter, he worked at various furniture factories in Kathmandu and Banepa, Nepal. Frustrated by being underpaid and having unstable employment, he paid a local human resources agent a hefty sum to help him tmore

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Reaping the fruits of technology in FYR Macedonia

“This is the one everyone knows from cartoons – the little worm in the apple,” explains Eftim Petkovski, scooping the larva of a codling moth from an apple in his orchard in Resen. “But it’s no joke, I can tell you – if we farmers don’t spray for them early on, all our livelihoods are at risk. more

UNDP's Annual Report
New Partnerships for Development

Our 2013-2014 Annual Report spotlights results from actions across core dimensions of development, from jobs and food security, to well-run elections, to crisis recovery, to the management of finite natural resources.

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