Our Perspective

      • Cote d’Ivoire: Working towards recovery

        28 Sep 2011

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        Internally Displaced Persons in Côte d'Ivoire. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

        Since re-opening the UNDP office in Côte d’Ivoire some four months ago, we have been working together with NGOs along the western border with Liberia, assisting recently-returned internally displaced people who had moved following a political crisis triggered by the disputed December 2010 election. More than 20,000 people now have better access to water through rehabilitated water pumps and water treatment of 100 wells. Almost 5,000 youth are engaged in some UNDP-supported income-generating activity related to agricultural processing, small trading initiatives, among others. In addition to reintegrating hundreds of thousands of displaced people, Ivoirians face other urgent challenges, including rebuilding trust among the population, and restoring security and rule of law. The economy, historically one of West Africa’s strongest, was also disrupted. The government, the UN and other local partners cannot do it alone, and the gaps are huge. As of 22 September, the Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries affected by the crisis is funded at 28 per cent with some US$81 million contributed against a total requirement of US$ 291 million. Going forward UNDP’s main focus will be to support the government to restore security and institutions of governance, and find ways to generate jobs Read More

      • Young people: Shaping the world’s future

        06 Sep 2011

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        Young men and women are gathered at a special event in the UN, New York, as part of the activities of the International Year of Youth. (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

        Taking part in last month’s United Nations High Level Meeting on Youth, I was inspired by the commitment and dynamism of the women and men aged 15 to 24 buzzing around me. Some 500 young environmental and civic activists and entrepreneurs put their minds together in New York 25-26 July to respond to some of today’s most pressing global challenges. They looked head-on at the impact of being out of work and of living in poverty – situations that a majority of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are facing. Overseeing partnership and cooperation efforts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), we bring together governments, the media, civil society and the private sector to focus on exactly these issues. UNDP has been helping countries around the world with the design of fresh policies for job creation as a means for cutting poverty, particularly for younger generations.   For example, today we are working to empower young people in Arab states, where they are experiencing unemployment at a rate twice the global average. In Tunisia, we’re currently designing training and promoting entrepreneurship for youth in the province of Medenine whose economy has been badly affected by the Libyan crisis. In Egypt, we’re Read More

      • Don't Turn Away From the World's Most Violent Region

        29 Aug 2011

        Even though the era of civil conflict in Central America is over, the region has the highest murder rate in the world: 44 per 100,000 people, 11 times the worldwide average of four per 100,000. This means more than 18,000 homicides in 2010 and 79,000 in the past six years. The late 1990s saw new democratic consolidation and economic growth in Central America, with admittedly mixed results. But the absence of outright war failed to bring peace, and sustained global efforts are now essential if we are to prevent the region’s already grave security crisis from worsening. Citizens feel unsafe on the streets, and even in their own homes. For their part, governments have to tackle the threat of drug-trafficking, kidnapping, organised crime, gangs, arms-dealing, and human-trafficking. Direct costs include loss of life, disability, and the illicit trade that results from crimes against property. Huge social inequality and under-employment among younger citizens form the backdrop for this insecurity, which goes beyond the domain of the war against drugs. Insecurity exacts a grimly quantifiable toll on both GDP and human development, thwarting the capacity both of individuals and of whole societies to fulfil their potential in this ever more global economy. The Read More