Inclusive and Sustainable Development

In support of the Government of the State of Eritrea’s nature-based sustainable development strategy, UNDP provides technical and finical support for integrated ecosystem management that embraces improved and sustainable livelihood. UNDP promotes enhanced capacity building at national and local levels to mainstream and integrate gender-responsive disaster risk reduction considerations into national and local institutional frameworks and small-holder farming development planning. UNDP also collaboratively work with the government to promote renewable energy to a wider population and expand productive climate-smart agriculture in the country.


UNDP's interventions on inclusive sustainable development focuses on:

  1. Environment: Promote sustainable environmental and ecosystem management  for inclusive and improved livelihoods of rural land users.
  2. Energy: Promote access to modern, efficient, affordable and  sustainable renewable energy for rural communities in an equitable and gender responsive manner.
  3. Climate and Disaster Resilience: Promote resilience capacity of communities for effective climate risk mitigation and inclusive and sustainable social protection.
  4. Food and Nutrition Security: Promote productive, nutrition sensitive and climate smart agriculture taking the needs and constraints of women farmers.


Programmes and Initiatives

  • Integrated Semenawi and Debubawi Bahri-Burri-Irrori-Hawakil protected area system for conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of land degradation
  • Mainstreaming climate risk considerations in food security and IWRM in Tsilima Plain and upper catchment area
  • Restoring Degraded Forest Landscapes and Promoting Community-based, Sustainable and Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Rora Habab Plateau
  • Rural Water Supply development in Debub, Anseba, Northern Red Sea, Southern Red Sea and Gash Barka regions
  • Eritrea Support to national and local resilience building initiatives (DRM)


In depth

Eritrea is a country situated in the Horn of Africa, a region prone to erratic rainfall and drought. The country, located in an arid and semi-arid climate, depends primarily on rain-fed agriculture, which continues to be the main livelihood means of its population with about 500,000 hectares of land cultivated, 93% of it is under rain-fed farming while only 7% using irrigation schemes (MoA, 2022). With nearly 65% of its population living in rural areas, rainfed agriculture is the primary source of income and subsistence, and due to the combined challenges of low and erratic rainfall and land degradation, rural communities are prone to climate-related shocks and risks such as drought. Rural communities also lack in technological skills and agricultural inputs, while institutional capacities require continuous strengthening. Thus, the Government of the State of Eritrea, through its Ministry of Agriculture, has adopted the Agricultural Development Strategy focusing on the conservation and development of natural resources, expansion of irrigated agriculture, increasing agricultural productivity, on-farm and off-farm soil and water conservation, afforestation and construction of water holding structures among others (MoA, 2022). In support of the Government, UNDP Country Office has been a key partner in Inclusive Sustainable Development, including emergency response to drought-affected communities, soil and water conservation, protected areas systems, and natural resources management.


The country, with the support of the UNDP Country Office in Eritrea, is making efforts to foster an environmental policy framework aligned with sustainable development and promoting community participation in the conservation and protection of the environment with, for example, the Eritrea Environmental Protection, Management and Rehabilitation Framework (2017) placing the human well being at the center of the national development agenda while protecting the environment. Eritrea’s accession to the global climate and energy conventions is among the country’s attempts to reverse the worsening climatic trends. The Government of the State of Eritrea shows its high commitment by contributing to reducing net emissions and being a signatory of the Paris Agreement. The Government developed its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2018 and has now requested the support of UNDP to renew it in 2022, which UNDP Country Office has shown its support. 

Aligned with the Africa Offer vision and the UNDP Strategic Plan ‘to help countries achieve sustainable development by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to shocks’; the theory of change of the country programme for Eritrea is based on the expectation that by the end of the cycle (2021 – 2025), the people of Eritrea will experience improvements in the delivery of public services, a more inclusive society and greater resilience to the impacts of disasters and climate change. This will lead to improved well-being among the citizens and an inclusive, diversified, green, and climate-resilient economy.