Helen Clark calls on Chad to reap the rewards of stabilitySep 17, 2013
Ndjamena – Wrapping up her three-day visit to Chad, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark called on the country and its partners to redouble efforts to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
“For Chad, the time has come, and this opportunity must not be missed because stability brings with it a dividend and that dividend is development,” she told President Idriss Déby Itno.
After years of conflict, Chad has entered a period of stability, which has enabled it to grow its economy and lay the foundation for sustainable development. The National Development Plan for 2013-2015 prioritizes basic social services such as health, education and agricultural production, while the Government’s emerging “Vision 2025” aims to make Chad a middle-income country.
During her visit to Ndjamena, Helen Clark, together with Chad’s Prime Minister, launched an ambitious initiative to halve the percentage of the population threatened by hunger. The three-year programme has a budget of USD 1 billion.
The programme will focus on the development of small-scale irrigation and access to seeds, fertilizer and equipment for small farmers, especially women. It will also seek to diversify crops and train farmers in climate change adaptation techniques.
“A hungry man is not a free man,” she emphasized several times, quoting the Chadian president.
During her visit, Helen Clark also travelled to the Sahel region of Dar Sila in eastern Chad to witness the launch of a resilience programme.
The programme is directly supporting communities, but is also working with local authorities to help people build a better future and enable them to overcome the challenges facing the region: climate change, drought, population growth and inter-community conflicts.
The initiative has set up peace committees and mobile legal clinics to prevent conflict and help raise awareness about the rule of law and violence, especially violence against women.
It will give communities access to energy through the installation of generators that will help them to perform the most difficult jobs, such as husking grain. One thousand women will be trained in marketing local products
During her visit, Helen Clark met with government officials, women leaders and lawmakers.
She highlighted the importance of inclusive political dialogue, decentralization and representation of women in national and local government on several occasions. “Involving women in development is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smartest thing to do,” she said.
The Administrator’s visit came a week before the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The General Assembly will be discussing the acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 global development agenda, which will be a major topic of discussion in Chad.
In 2014, UNDP will support Chad in organizing a round table that will bring together national authorities, partners and donors.
Ndjamena : Isabelle Assingar
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New York : Nicolas Douillet
Dakar : Maimouna Mills
Regional Communication Advisor
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