In-Depth

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Photo: UNDP Sierra Leone


Supporting the MDGs and their aftermath

UNDP has long played an important role as a lead advocate for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015. We are also helping to integrate key development issues in the framework to succeed the MDGs.

  • UNDP has been helping African countries to collect MDG-related data and devise comprehensive, measureable development plans. With UNDP’s support, 39 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa conducted assessments to address key MDG bottlenecks. An International Assessment was also carried out to accelerate and sustain development progress until 2015.
  • UNDP launched a vast global conversation through which people can help shape the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Together with the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank, UNDP has been bringing stakeholders across Africa together to inform the continent’s position on the Agenda.

Promoting inclusive growth

UNDP works with government partners in Africa to design policies and interventions which advance inclusive and sustainable growth and increase the number of people who participate productively in the economy and benefit from its growth. This entails stimulating sectors where the poor work and live, generating employment and expanding infrastructure and increasing access to safe water, sanitation, and reliable energy. Initiatives that empower women are vital in making growth inclusive.

Making societies more resilient

Shielding the most vulnerable from the worst effects of economic and other shocks and setbacks is paramount to advancing development over time. Environmental protection and climate change adaptation are also critical, as people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the poor, depend on the region’s biodiversity and ecosystems for basic necessities such as energy, food and shelter.

  • Food security is essential for development, yet more than one in four Africans are undernourished. In the Sahel, UNDP capacitates governments faced with recurring droughts to reduce the impact of disasters and address long-term causes of food insecurity.
  • With the help of UNDP, Uganda incorporated sustainable land management principles into local development plans and budgets, covering drylands home to 6.6 million Ugandans, many of them poor pastoralists and farmers. The led to the adoption of over 200 district-level environmental plans advancing land use planning, conservation agriculture and sustainable cattle rearing practices and the construction of fuel-efficient cooking stoves.

Boosting sustainability

Sustainable development is about meeting the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Avoiding trasnferring development risks from present to future generations, - without sacrificing reductions in poverty and inequality today at the altar of future environmental concerns - is central to UNDP’s approach to development and poverty reduction.

  • Rwanda is working with UNDP, Manna Energy Limited and Engineers Without Borders to install solar-powered water purification systems in targeted rural community schools. Residents and pupils now have a local source of clean drinking water which has improved health outcomes and increased school attendance.

Halting and reversing HIV/AIDS

Globally, 34 million people are living with HIV, and 69 per cent of those individuals live in Sub-Saharan Africa. UNDP works with African countries to understand and respond to the development dimensions of HIV and health, supporting governments to integrate attention to HIV in national planning, gender equality and MDG efforts.

  • Zimbabwe is set to attain universal coverage for AIDS treatment, with support from the Government of Zimbabwe, UNDP, the UK's Department for International Development and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Zimbabwe has achieved one of the sharpest declines in HIV prevalence in Southern Africa, from 27 per cent in 1997 to just over 15 per cent in 2010.
Related Publications
Fast Facts: UNDP and Poverty Reduction in Africa

Poverty reduction lies at the heart of everything UNDP does in Africa to advance human dignity and inclusive development. To bring about deep-rooted change, we help countries act on the multiple and interconnected dimensions of poverty and inequality.

Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future

The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security is essential for human development.

MDG Report 2013: Africa

The Africa MDG Report 2013 concludes that while Africa is the world’s second fastest growing region, its rate of poverty reduction is insufficient to reach the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015. An analysis of food insecurity – the report’s theme – provides insights into how this phenomenon impacts other MDGs, particularly health-related goals.

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