2022 Human Development Report: Investments

The article continues the UNDP Belarus series of publications on the work we do with the national and international partners to ensure that Belarusians have capabilities and resources to harness the potential embedded in uncertain times.

9 February 2023


UNDP leverages 3Is– Investment, Insurance and Innovations – outlined in the 2022 Human Development Report and seen as critical instruments for moving way forward towards resilient future, sustainable communities and healthy environment.

According to the UNDP’s 2022 Human Development Report, the past two years of COVID-19 pandemic and other crises had a devastating impact on billions of people worldwide. For the first time human development has declined for 9 out of 10 countries around the world. The challenges are interacting to create new threats and hitting people and communities at the same time making them feel insecure, unsafe and uncertain about the future. 

To break this impasse the world needs to double down on investments in human development leveraging   human, financial, and natural resources, and enhancing capabilities needed to navigate successfully through uncertain times. 

Together with the national partners and international experts UNDP analyzes the ways to increase the efficiency of the national investments into resilience and sustainable development through assessing 24 national programmes in public health, demographic and social security, agriculture, energy efficiency and forestry on the impact they have for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This assessment pays a way for inviting the national partners to start a dialogue on establishing in Belarus the Integrated National Financing Framework – a supportive tool for enhancing the national financial systems to channel critical resources to the SDGs.

UNDP supports Belarus in developing a low-carbon economy by helping design the National Green Economy Plan until 2025 and introducing the International Green Economy index - a monitoring tool for green finance development. The work continues to devise the National Circular Economy Strategy until 2035 and further support transformative polices on green and zero-carbon transition in Belarus.

In 2021 Belarus set a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to reduce CO2 emissions at least by 35% by 2030, compared to the level of emissions in 1990. To achieve this, UNDP helps the country to integrate climate adaptation and green growth into national development policies and plans. UNDP applies complex approach towards developing climate change adaptation plans for various sectors of the national economy, such as energy, construction, agriculture, and other carbon-intensive industries.

Together the Ministry of Environment and the funding from the GEF, UNDP Belarus piloted nature-based solutions for the reintroduction of globally endangered and rare species. In 2020, 15 cattle bulls of the Heck breed, relatives of the legendary aurochs, were brought to the south of Belarus to help preserve ecosystem balance of the unique floodplain meadows of the Pripyat River.

Photo: UNDP in Belarus

Joining efforts and knowledge with local authorities, experts and innovators, UNDP introduced sustainable management scenarios for 756,000 ha of protected natural areas, helped preserve 17 species of birds and animals, and developed and tested innovative nature-based solutions for restoring Belarus’ wetlands. These developments and conservation measures help local communities to sustain global public goods and cherish their natural wealth.

In the most Chernobyl-affected Homiel region UNDP, together with national and international partners implemented about 15 large-scale programmes and over 200 projects to support local socio-economic development through education, strengthening of local healthcare system, advancing green economy, conservation of natural ecosystems and ecotourism development.

Photo: Local development initiative/UNDP in Belarus

UNDP develops a new approach towards partnership and investment-driven development of Belarus’ regions recovering after the Chernobyl disaster. Together with the national partners UNDP established the Chernobyl Investment Platform - a tool for spurring innovation and economic renewal for the Chernobyl-affected and other developing regions of the country. With support from the National Academy of Science of Belarus UNDP assessed human and territorial potential of 21 affected districts to identify local development opportunities. A new digital platform with 34 innovative technologies was set up to facilitate innovations in development of the Chernobyl regions. Together with the national partners, UNDP strengthens other segments of the Platform focusing on knowledge, partnerships investments, and youth.

The systemic and concerted investments into local growth help create more opportunities for elevating local economies and making a positive impact for small businesses and the communities they serve. The support, which UNDP provides to local entrepreneurs in developing their ideas and growing their businesses, creates a valuable window to advance efforts to expand economic opportunities through innovations, new knowledge, and experience. The application of a bottom-up approach allows leveraging best local solutions and practices across the national development priorities and strategies in SMEs and entrepreneurial development, social protection, labor market and employment.

A women worker prepares blueberry plants, grown by using biotechnology, for selling to farmers. A small rural enterprise in Brest region, Belarus, harnesses the benefits of biotech farming to breed quality berry plants to support the local farming industry.

Photo: UNDP in Belarus

In Belarus’ regions UNDP provides systemic support to 32 local development initiatives, 19 business community clusters and 11 business infrastructure projects aiming at strengthening economic and social fabrics of local development through business knowledge, innovations, inclusion and entrepreneurial initiative. Local initiatives unite public, private and educational partners in the regions who come together to help local businesses, vulnerable communities to adapt to new economic challenges, explore and embrace emerging opportunities.

Through global and local knowledge and expertise, partnership networks UNDP is well positioned of promoting  the scale of investments required to help Belarus to preserve nature, strengthen resilience and unleash the economic potential of the regions.

From its extensive experience in development work in Belarus and across the globe UNDP is confident that investments in human development, knowledge, entrepreneurial agility, environmental recovery and green technologies bring longer-term benefits and help people weather the crisis and embrace growth opportunities.