The road to real progress against poverty and inequality | Antonio Vigilante

31 Mar 2014

Pescadores en Cambodia Fish farmers in rural Cambodia adapt to climate change thanks to a project funded by the European Commission. (Photo: Alejandro Boza/UNDP Cambodia)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UNDP’s partnership with the European Union. This relationship was forged based on the reality that the only way to make real progress in the fight against poverty and inequality is through coordinated multilateralism – and it has.  

In the last decade, the EU has provided 3.3 billion Euros to UNDP activities in 115 countries, bringing about tangible results:

• In Pakistan, the UNDP-EU partnership supported about 5.5 million people to rehabilitate 4,000 villages after the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods. Temporary employment benefitted 1.3 million people, 40 percent of which were women.
Elections in 53 countries have been supported by the partnership
28 countries have been helped to better prepare for natural disasters.
• Within the framework of the Poverty Environment Initiative, which supports 24 countries across several regions, the partnership has helped countries incorporate poverty-environment linkages into national development planning.
• In the area of climate change, the partnership supports 25 countries to carry out nationally driven climate-change mitigation actions.

One of the key factors that make the partnership effective is that the cooperation takes place at multiple levels: policy, advocacy, knowledge-sharing and programmes, each feeding and complementing one another. This helps the partnership bring about change at the level of international policy and norms, but also translate this value into practical changes on the ground.

A 10-year report launched on the anniversary of the partnership shows the practical impact of this influence has had on thousands of individuals and communities, whether we’re helping them improve their governance, environment or response to crisis.

The report also shows how such international partnerships can successfully carry out nationally-driven and owned change, whether economic, social or political.

Against this background, UNDP country offices and EU delegations are joining forces to continue to nurture our partnership in line with the national context and priorities identified by the host government. Our cooperation should also be oriented towards emergent development issues important to sustainable development, and continue to build on the successes achieved and the challenges experienced over the past decade.

The UNDP-EU partnership makes a difference where it matters most – in improving the lives of people around the world – and ensuring it continues will help us continue to build better lives.

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