United Nations, French Development Agency sign partnership accord to speed fight against poverty

21 Apr 2012

New Partnership Agreement seeks to accelerate progress on remaining unmet Millennium Development Goals before 2015

Washington – With the clock running out on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French Development Agency, signed an agreement Saturday pledging to work more closely together to speed up progress toward the anti-poverty goals.

The new agreement brings the two organizations closer to forge solutions in the areas of the fight against climate change, youth employment and the promotion of public-private partnerships for the provision of essential services.

"The world’s population today is healthier, wealthier, and better educated than ever before, yet many people still live in extreme poverty and insecurity,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “I hope that by joining UNDP’s and AFD’s efforts, and capitalizing on our respective experiences and comparative advantages, we will be able to promote and achieve sustainable human development enjoyed by all.”

“Formidable challenges like climate change, meeting the MDGs or food security cannot be addressed alone. The Agreement with the UNDP reflects this conviction. Building on our respective mandate and expertise, we look forward to fruitful dialogue and successful operational collaboration with UNDP in the future,” said AFD CEO Dov Zerah.

The MDGs comprise eight targets agreed by all United Nations member states. They include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, empowering women, and reducing child mortality by the year 2015.

The Agreement is part of the broader cooperation between France and UNDP, and it identifies a set of priority sectors for collaboration.

A centerpiece of the job creation component is a shared commitment to enhance and promote dialogue among public authorities, civil society, and the private sector to facilitate the professional insertion of unemployed youths, particularly women. A specific focus will be placed on the Middle East, a priority for both institutions.

In recent years, UNDP and AFD have developed a productive dialogue on climate finance. Building on their technical experience and prior involvement in countries vulnerable to climate change, the two institutions hope to intensify their partnership, including in the design and implementation of Low Emission Climate Resilient Development strategies.

Finally, both institutions have committed to maintain a regular dialogue in the future and to review these priorities on an annual basis to take into account past achievements and emerging concerns.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and AFD CEO Dov Zerah signed the agreement while in Washington DC for the 2012 spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

Contact Information

Washington: Sarah Jackson-Han, UNDP: sarah.jackson-han@undp.org, +1 202 331 9130
Geneva:  Adam Rogers, UNDP: adam.rogers@undp.org; +41 22 917 8541
Paris: Laure Weisgerber, AFD: weisgerberl@afd.fr ; +33 1 53 44 30 57