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In Montenegro, making houses energy efficient and legal

Siniša Pavićević, 52, is a construction worker who lives with his wife and two sons in the town of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro. In 2004, he started building a house, but three years later he still could not afford to finish it or pay the fees for its legal title. Though the family was happy to move intmore

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Supporting young entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Aynalem Ayele is a young woman brimming with confidence. “Ayni’s Design,” her small jewelry and clothing design shop in the heart of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, offers creative designs of leather products, incorporating cultural motifs and items into everyday products for the young and savvy urmore

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In Jordan, entrepreneurship skills help weather the economic storm

Refurbishing damaged diapers from a nearby factory may not be everyone’s cup of tea — but for Amira Rizk Abu Bqeira and members of her community, who have begun to feel the strain of an influx of refugees from Syria, cloth nappies are proving to be a business niche that may protect them from simore

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In rural Cambodia, backyard fish farms answer food insecurity

In the past, when he needed fish for his wife to cook, Say Sorn used to cast a net in the canal of his village, in the Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. These days he can just get it right from his backyard, currently occupied by a giant water filtration tank, hatching containers, and 12 more

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Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire: Peace talks in war-torn border town

“It is painful to remember how my husband was brutally murdered in front of me and our children," says Elizabeth Sobu, a resident of the South Eastern town of Zwedru, on the border between Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire." We survived only by the grace of God.” Sobu is a refugee from a localizedmore

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Uzbekistan: Revising energy codes, piloting energy savings

In winters past, electricity and hot water would all but stop flowing to School No. 2 in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. To cope with the sub-zero temperatures, it would heat with coal, wood and sometimes dried cow dung. Makeshift stoves were used to heat classrooms to tolerable temperatures. Somemore

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Iraq: Syrian women and girls struggle to survive in camps

When 20-year-old Zainab fled the ongoing fighting in Syria, she hoped to find safety in the Arbat refugee camp in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Though she may have escaped violence in her home country, she was unable to escape it at home. When her father forced her to marry an abusive husband, she fled once amore

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Bosnia, piloting the way to energy efficiency

In the winter, the kindergarten in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s municipality of Gradiska was often freezing cold, with temperatures inside dipping to 7° Celsius. Swaddled in layers of heavy clothes, the kindergarteners could barely move. Teachers would rub their frozen fingers and stamp their feet to kemore

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Waiting out the winter in Lebanon

Last winter was bitter for Hassan Ahmad and his family of 11. After they fled their home in Damascus, they found shelter in Lebanon, in a cramped two-room apartment with a leaky ceiling, no doors and no hot water. "A relative of mine offered us these rooms," says Ahmad, whose Damascus hommore

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In Somaliland, local communities benefit from decentralization

For Fosia Ahmed Ismail, a returnee to the Somaliland district of Hargeisa, life was hard. Many basic services were inadequately delivered, and access to authorities was limited and sometimes even unthinkable. “The local government resettled us here,” said Fosia. But infrastructure in local districtmore

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Syria: Restoring Roman wells to bring relief

In Syria's rural areas, long-abandoned Roman wells have become more than a relic of a bygone civilization. For communities struggling to cope with the disastrous ongoing conflict, these ancient wells, dug more than 2,000 years ago, have now become a means of survival. Fighting is now entering its thmore

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In Armenia, energy efficiency is heating homes and warming lives

Arev Shirikchyan used to come home to a cold and dark apartment after working two shifts to support her family. In winter, getting proper heat was an ongoing battle for the residents of Avan, the Yerevan neighborhood where she lives. Two decades ago, the boiler house supplying heat and hot water tomore

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In Nepal, ex-combatants start over

Shobha Raymajhi is a friendly spice merchant living on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. However, the smiling mother and market-stall owner used to live a less affable existence. Less than a decade ago she carried a gun for the Maoist People's Liberation Army during Nepal’s 10-year civil conflict. more

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Sudan: Youth volunteers train for a better future for Darfur

Yusra, a young woman from East Darfur, had always wanted to work with her community to help people improve their lives. “Because of the conflict, we have so many problems such as poverty, low-income and lack of quality education. I didn’t know how and where I could start,” she says.   Formore

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In Cambodia, piped water offers villagers a fresh start

There is virtually no free space left in Kri Ven’s backyard. After his home in Cambodia was connected to a pipe water system, his 300-square metres of land now host rows and rows of plants such as cabbage, radish and sugar cane. “I am quite happy to have my own farm to grow vegetables for a living,more

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Promoting self-empowerment of HIV-positive women in Congo

Léocadie, a widow and a mother of four children, is unable to forget the night when her life was torn apart. "A group of armed men entered our home and raped me in front of my family," she relates between sobs. After an initial test, Léocadie found out that she was HIV positive and fell inmore

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Timor-Leste breaks down barriers to justice for victims of domestic violence

An estimated 30 to 50 percent of Timorese women suffer abuse from their partners at some point in their relationship. This is in spite of the country’s 2010 Law Against Domestic Violence, which defines it a public crime that requires the state to respond whether a victim files a criminal complaint omore

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Chad: Micro-finance networks boost business initiatives by women

"Let’s get up and get to work — the slogan of a new savings cooperative for women in the village of Balimba, in the south of Chad — bears witness to their motivation and entrepreneurial spirit. "With our modest capital investment, we weren't getting very far," Florence, a member of thmore

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DRC: Nobody is above the law, not even the military

The atmosphere is tense in Bweremana, Goma, in war-torn North Kivu. A large crowd has gathered outside a tent, serving as an impromptu military court. They wait impatiently for the verdict to be announced. When the announcement finally comes, there are gasps of shock and relief from the crowd. Eightmore

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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

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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