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MEDIA REPORTS

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 10/27/10

 

2010


Human Development Media Report Archives: 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 200
3; 2002

Latest Media Report

ACP Observatory on Migration to Track Migration Flows

 

OCTOBER 2010

 

ACP Observatory on Migration to Track Migration Flows

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration, a joint initiative of the European Commission and the ACP countries, was launched officially at a special ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, held on 25 October 2010. The Observatory is intended to provide reliable data on migration flows in ACP countries, with climate change as one of its key research topics. The Observatory will be run by the International Migration Organization (IOM) and and a consortium of 15 partners and four associates, with nearly 8 million Euros funding from the EU and additional financial support from Switzerland and IOM. It will cover all six ACP regions and start with pilot programmes in 12 countries. The Observatory is expected to introduce an innovative approach to enhance research capacities in ACP countries and assist in designing better policies to enhance the contribution of migration to development. [EU press release] [IOM press release]

 

UN Global Forum on Local Development Discusses MDGs

October 2010: The UN Global Forum on Local Development, which convened from 4-6 October 2010, in Kampala, Uganda, focused on a local development approach to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which requires multi-stakeholder engagement in order to succeed. The forum, organized by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ugandan Government, and supported by a wide range of partners, was attended by 600 participants from 81 countries. In the opening statement, UNCDF Executive Secretary David Morrison stressed the influence that local circumstances can have on the progress of achieving MDGs, which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation. He noted that a strong consensus is emerging that a new policy approach based on local knowledge to tailor public policy to specific circumstances is needed, and that it will allow for more effective provision of public goods that respond to the needs of local communities. [UN News Centre] [UNCDF GFLD 2010]

 

SEPTEMBER 2010

UNEP Provides Adaptation Assistance to Rwanda

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have announced the implementation of the Rwandan Climate Change and Development Project - Adapting by Reducing Vulnerability (CC DARE). The project involves relocating human settlements from Rwanda's sloping Gishwati Forest, an area that has suffered severe environmental degradation, exacerbated by extreme weather events. The joint UNEP/UNDP CC DARE programme aims to complement and strengthen ongoing and planned adaptation and risk management activities, based on national priorities. [UNEP press release]

 

Ahead of MDG Summit, UN Secretary-General Calls for Increased Cooperation

16 September 2010: As world leaders prepare for the MDG Summit, which will be held from 20-22 September, at UN Headquarters in New York, to boost progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a press conference to discuss the findings of the report on “The Global Partnership for Development at a Critical Juncture.” The report finds serious gaps in the realization of commitments only five years away from the deadline for achieving the Goals, and stresses that improved access to new technologies has become increasingly pressing, especially those technologies necessary for climate change mitigation and adaptation and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The report emphasizes the impact of the global economic crisis, leading to further shortfalls on aid, trade and debt, and on affordable access to medicines and technology. It notes that official development assistance (ODA) will fall short by US$20 billion on commitments made for this year, with Africa accounting for 80% of that gap. The report highlights trade recovery, but notes that it is still unclear if it will generate the jobs and income opportunities required to lift many out of poverty.

 

With an increased focus on access to new technologies, the role of the private sector is also critical. The report notes the need for large public and private investments and incentives for technologies for renewable energy production, energy efficiency and environmental protection, with emphasis on climate change. It argues that economic and market barriers, particularly lack of finance, are the main obstacles for developing countries in accessing technology transfer. It calls for enhancing internationally concerted efforts to promote the development and transfer of technologies for the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change in developing countries, and provide the necessary financial resources and technical assistance in order to address urgently the needs of developing countries in dealing with its adverse effects. [UN News] [UN News Centre, 16 September] [MDG Gap Task Force report]

 

JULY 2010

 

UNGA Adopts Consensus Resolution on the UN Women Agency

2 July 2010: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted unanimously on a resolution (A/64/L.56), paragraphs 49 and 50, to create the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women or UN Women. The resolution focuses on strengthening the institutional arrangements for support of gender equality and the empowerment of women and the establishment of the new entity.

 

The new entity will merge the existing mandates and functions of four UN agencies and offices including the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). The new entity will function both as a secretariat and implementing agency to carry out operational activities at the country level. The new agency is expected to be operational by 1 January 2011. The resolution also establishes an Executive Board, comprised of member States, as the governing body of the entity to provide intergovernmental support to and supervision of its operational activities. [UNGA Resolution] [UNGA Press Release summarizing the General Assembly meeting, 2 July 2010] [Press conference] [UN and Women]

 

UNDP Supports Strategic Investment to Address Climate Change in LDCs

July 2010: In order to strengthen support to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in their work on climate change in the lead up to the negotiations in Cancun and beyond, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has committed US$5.6 million toward a programme on "Strategic Investment in Addressing Climate Change in LDCs." The purpose of the programme is to strengthen the programmatic capacity in the area of climate change of select LDCs through the provision of focused expertise at the regional and national levels during 2010-2011. This initiative will provide focused climate change expertise, including senior-level national climate change specialists in 24 LDCs. These National Officers, currently under recruitment, will be the focal point for in-country climate change work.

 

Specifically, the programme will aim to build capacity as it relates to climate change in the following areas: policy dialogue and awareness raising; capacity development for participating in the international negotiations process; national low-carbon and climate resilient strategy and action plan definition; cross practice and mainstreaming; climate change proofing; knowledge management; methodology coherence; and financing instruments. The participating countries in this initiative are: Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Maldives, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Samoa, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Togo, Zambia and Yemen.

 

UNDP currently works in 49 LDCs that will face various climate change challenges from risk of inundation as sea levels rise, increased flooding of low-lying coastal areas, increased variability in rainfall, and hotter and drier climates. Tropical diseases such as malaria could increase and fragile genetic species could face the risk of extinction as a result of climate change. [UNDP Climate Change] [IISDRS]

 

UNDP and Oxford Launch New Poverty Measure

14 July 2010: The Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) of Oxford University have launched a new poverty measure – the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) – to address the multidimensional facets of people living in poverty. The new measure is expected to support the targeting of development resources more effectively within specific communities. The MPI will be featured in the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Report, to be released in October 2010, and it is expected to supplant the Human Poverty Index (HPI), adding to the other existing indexes such as the UNDP’s Human Development Index and measures of inequality across the population and between genders. The new measure focuses on the most vulnerable households and groups and enables an understanding of exactly which deprivations afflict their lives, from education to health outcomes to assets and services, capturing distinct and broader aspects of poverty. It provides a comprehensive measure of poverty compared to the traditional dollar-a-day formulas. This new multidimensional measure to poverty has been already piloted in Mexico, and is currently being considered by Chile and Colombia. [UNDP Human Development Report Office] [OPHI]

 

JUNE 2010

 

UNDP REPORTS PROGRESS ON GREENING BUSINESS IN VIETNAM

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Viet Nam, through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), are helping to green small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the brick, ceramics, textiles, paper production and food processing sectors. UNDP reports that the project raises awareness among managers, and has been providing technical and financial support to install energy efficient technologies for the past four years. It is estimated that, so far, the initiative has benefited over 400 businesses, which has resulted in significant energy savings, by replacing outdated equipment and providing financing options for investment in efficient production processes. SMEs have become the key generator of jobs in Viet Nam and the use of energy-efficient technologies has the potential to increase the profits of businesses while significantly reducing carbon emissions. The project's success is due to the partnership between the Government and financial institutions that aim to set up financial and tax schemes for SMEs to motivate the adoption of energy-efficient measures. A Loan Guarantee Fund has also been set up to reduce the risks of financial institutions providing loans to SMEs for energy-efficiency investments.

 

Link to further information

UNDP press release, 3 June 2010

 

UNDP and Bangladesh Fight Environmental Degradation to Reduce Poverty

21 June 2010: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Bangladesh are supporting the island of St. Martin’s to develop strategies that offset or avoid biodiversity loss while promoting poverty reduction. Land pressures caused by a growing population and natural disasters, along with the threats posed by climate change, have amplified the risks of biodiversity reduction and ecosystem changes on the island, a biodiversity hotspot located in the southern part of Bangladesh. By promoting strategies such as livelihood diversification, the Government of Bangladesh and UNDP are supporting communities' efforts to opt for farming and agricultural practices that better utilize natural resources for long-term preservation and environmentally-sustainable strategies. The next step of the initiative is to identify interventions and programmes that have been successful in St. Martin and that can be scaled up on a national level. UNDP is expected to support the Government in creating a long-term plan for national implementation. [UNDP press release]

 

UN/ISDR LAUNCHES MAKING CITIES RESILIENT CAMPAIGN

On 30 May 2010, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) launched a world disaster reduction campaign, titled ‘Making cities resilient: my city is getting ready.’ The campaign, a two-year scheme, seeks to bring more than 1000 local government leaders around the world to sign up for and to commit to a checklist of ‘Ten Essentials’ that will make their cities more resilient, with a specific goal to enhance awareness about the benefits of focusing on sustainable urbanization to reduce disaster risks. The ten essentials build on the priorities identified under the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 to build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, and emphasize actions such as to: put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on civil society participation; assign a budget for disaster risk reduction; prepare risk assessments; maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risks; assess the safety of all schools and health facilities; apply and enforce realistic, risk-compliant building regulations and land use planning principles; ensure education programmes and training on disaster risk reduction; protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storms and other hazards, and adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices; install early warning systems and emergency management; and ensure the needs of survivors are prioritized during reconstruction. The campaign emphasizes that making cities safer to disasters means sustainable urbanization. When successfully applied, resilient cities help reduce poverty and provide for growth and employment, more social equity, business opportunities, balanced ecosystems, better health and improved education. UN/ISDR is coordinating the initiative, in collaboration with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

 

Links to further information

UN/ISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign

Ten essentials

 

MAY 2010

 

UNDP LAUNCHES PHOTO CONTEST “PICTURE THIS: WE CAN END POVERTY”

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Olympus Corporation and the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Foundation, launched a photo contest titled “Picture This: We Can End Poverty.” The competition will feature work carried out in various countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 to demonstrate how ordinary people around the world are addressing their most pressing development challenges.

Last year, the photo contest on caring for the Earth focused on climate change and environmental degradation in Africa. An exhibit featuring the winning photos will be held during the UN Summit on the MDGs in September in New York. Each photo entry can focus on one of the MDGs. The deadline for entries is 16 July 2010.

 

Links to further information

UNDP Newsroom, 14 May 2010

Picture This Website

 

UNDP SUPPORTS INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN SAMOA TO RECORD THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THEIR LIVELIHOODS

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme Initiative to indigenous communities to record the impacts of climate change on their habitat. The videos produced will aim to support climate resilience and grassroots actions for policy change. A video produced by eight indigenous communities from Samoa was featured at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009 and will be screened at the Fourth GEF Assembly, to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 24-28 May 2010. This participatory video brought together indigenous women and men – from rural and fisher communities – to capture the impact of climate change on their livelihoods. In addition, the UNDP Community Based Adaptation Project (CBA) is providing grants to each community to implement adaptation strategies to cope with climate change. In the upcoming months, communities in Morocco and Namibia are expected to initiate video productions on the effects of climate change on their daily lives.

 

Links to further information

UNDP Newsroom, 13 May 2010

UNDP and Community Based Adaptation

 

APRIL 2010

UN HUMANITARIAN CHIEF AND WFP FOCUS ON WEST AFRICAN FOOD CRISIS

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran indicated that the intense droughts in Niger are escalating the humanitarian crisis and contributing to mass migration from rural to urban areas as well as to neighboring countries. She has announced that WFP will step up its aid to support 2.3 million people, particularly pregnant women and children, in the arid eastern Sahel region. UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes is visiting West Africa attempt to review disaster management cooperation, risk reduction and strengthening humanitarian coordination. He will focus on the need to address the root causes of recurring food crisis in the region and consider some of the long-term solutions such as investments in smallholder agriculture and rural infrastructure, strengthening poverty alleviation interventions and disaster risk reduction vis-à-vis the growing threats of climate change. John Holmes is travelling to Zinder area of Southern Niger to assess the human impact of the food crisis which is estimated to be affecting 7.8 million people. He has made an appeal to donors for $133 million to respond to the crisis. In addition, he is calling for help to support some two million people in Chad, 258,000 Malians, 370,000 Mauritanians and vulnerable communities in northern Nigeria.

Links to further information:

Climate-L.org Daily Feed, 26 April 2010

UNDP ANNOUNCES ENERGY-POVERTY INITIATIVE IN BURKINA FASO

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has announced a cooperative initiative with the Government of Burkina Faso to promote access to energy as a key component of poverty reduction. The initiative includes the installation of a “multifunctional platform”–a diesel engine and associated tools (such as grinding mills, huskers, battery chargers, pumps,  and carpentry equipment)–that assists women with labor-intensive work and helps generate new income streams. The platform can also be used to distribute water and electricity in small villages. It is estimated that 431 platforms have been installed in eight regions in Burkina Faso, benefiting more than 600,000 people.

 

Evidence emerging from the experiences with the multifunctional platforms was presented during the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women held in March 2010, in New York. The Aarhus United, the Government of Luxembourg, Shell Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Kuwaiti telecom company Zain, are some of the main donors of the programme.

Links to further information

UNDP Newsroom, 21 April 2010

NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR UNDRIP AT OPENING OF UNPFII

During the first day of the ninth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), which is meeting from 19-30 May 2010, at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, the representative of New Zealand announced that the country will reverse its decision and support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Indigenous leaders attending the forum described the shift in New Zealand’s policy as a positive sign for the struggle of indigenous peoples to protect their lands, resources, culture and languages. The shift is also expected to impact ongoing negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on access and benefit-sharing, and deliberations on Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge).

Links to further information

UN news release, 19 April 2010

IPS, 19 April 2010

 

UN REPORT FINDS THAT MOBILE PHONES ARE MORE COMMON THAN TOILETS IN INDIA

The United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-IWEH) has released a report containing recommendations to accelerate the pace towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation. The report notes that access to adequate sanitation reduces local environmental degradation, and improves ecosystem services as well as human health and well-being. The recommendations emphasize the synergies between water, sanitation and hygiene.

 

UNU-IWEH Director Zafar Adeel, Chair of UN-Water, a coordinating body for water-related work at 27 UN agencies and their partners, indicated that recent UN research demonstrates that roughly 366 million people in India, equivalent 31%of the population, had access to improved sanitation in 2008. At the same time, about 545 million cell phones are now connected in the country, representing an increase in the number of cell phones per 100 people from 0.35 in 2000-01 to about 45 today. Adeel stressed that, in India, more people have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet facility.

 

The report concludes that if current trends continue, as per data by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 1 billion persons will not have access to proper sanitation facilities by the MDG target date of 2015.

 

Links to further information

UN News Centre, 14 April 2010

Sanitation as a key to global health

UNU media press release

 

UNICEF ISSUES WARNING ABOUT MALNUTRITION CRISIS IN AFRICA DUE TO DESERTIFICATION

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that severe malnutrition is affecting an estimated 859,000 children under the age of five living in the Sahel region of Africa due to droughts and increasing desertification. The UN agency indicated that Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, northern Nigeria and Chad are suffering from severe malnutrition and will need support from donors to provide funds for humanitarian programmes. UNICEF indicated that only half of the funds sought to address the crisis have been raised. UNICEF spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume stressed that the ongoing drought in the Sahel region has created a food crisis that is already putting at risk the health of the region’s most vulnerable children.

 

Links to further information

UN News Centre, 9 April 2010

 

MARCH 2010

 

UN WARNS OF HARMFUL IMPACT ON POOR FARMERS FROM NARROW USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

A conference on agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 1-4 March 2010, considered the growing challenges of food security faced by developing countries. The meeting also explored opportunities and partnerships to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to choose and use appropriate biotechnologies. UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Assistant Director-General Modibo Traore noted that biotechnologies are not yet making a significant impact in the lives of people in most developing countries, as most countries still lack the appropriate technologies, policies and technical capacities, and necessary infrastructure and evaluation capacities.

 

According to FAO, biotechnological innovations can effectively mitigate the impact of climate change, with examples being the experience of rice hybrids in Africa, which have doubled agricultural production, and artificial insemination techniques to raise dairy cattle milk production in Bangladesh. FAO also stresses the need for greater involvement of farmers, particularly small-holders, institutions and communities to make the adequate decisions to choose the appropriate technologies. 

 

Link to further information

UN News Centre, 1 March 2010

 

UN MARKS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WITH CALLS TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPMENT

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. To mark International Women’s Day, UN officials stressed the need for greater empowerment of women in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and to face development challenges, including climate change.

 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored the role of women and girls in achieving peace, security and sustainable development. UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella emphasized the need to enhance women’s access to skills, technologies and finance to facilitate their engagement in productive activities and to move beyond subsistence survival, with a particular focus on agribusiness and agri-industries opportunities in Africa. Yumkella also highlighted the role of women in Africa, as small farmers and agricultural laborers, in crop production, livestock care and off-farm activities, and the constraints associated with women’s lack of rights.

 

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the UN Global Compact, which focuses on corporate responsibility, launched a joint initiative called “Women’s Empowerment Principles,” to offer guidance on how to empower women in the workplace. UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi stressed the multiplier effect of women’s empowerment, noting the benefits for communities and business.

 

Links to further information

UN News Centre

UN press release

 

FEBRUARY 2010

 

UN BACKS INITIATIVE TO TURN TRASH INTO CASH IN ASIAN PACIFIC CITIES

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Waste Concern, a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization (NGO), have launched in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an initiative to transform trash into cash to benefit cities in Asia and the Pacific. The initiative will help solid waste development strategies to become decentralized, pro-poor oriented, and promote self-financing through the sale of carbon credits. UNESCAP has been working with local partners since 2005 and have tested the approach in Sri Lanka and Vietnam with recycling plants serving about 1,000 households.

 

UNESCAP estimates that local governments spend on average up to 60 percent of their annual public budgets to collect, transport and dispose solid wastes. Rapid urbanization is leading to an increase in the production of solid waste. The initiative hopes to harness the potential of solid waste to provide a living to many families from recycling, both from inorganic recyclable waste and organic waste collection, which can be turned into compost and can generate seed funds costs through carbon credits.

 

Link to further information

UN News Centre, 22 February

 

WORLD BANK REPORTS ON PROGRESS MADE IN BUILDING HEALTH CLINICS AND WATER PUMPS IN KOSOVO

The World Bank has reported on some 320 projects it has been involved with under the Community Development Fund (CDF) project in Kosovo from 2001-2008. The projects aim to increase the quantity and quality of infrastructure and services in poor and conflict-affected communities, as well as the most vulnerable groups, and to promote local capacity building including participation and empowerment. The CDF financed the rehabilitation of the water system and, according to a review carried out by the CDF in consultation with stakeholders, a direct outcome of the CDF’s water supply projects has been a dramatic reduction of waterborne diseases. In addition, the water supply systems financed by the project have eliminated time and effort in carrying water.

 

Link to further information

World Bank press release, February 2010

 

ILO WARNS OF HIGH GLOBAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

On 27 January 2010, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director General Juan Somavia launched the ILO’s annual Global Employment Trends report. This report indicates that unemployment reached the highest level on record in 2009, with nearly 212 million jobless worldwide, or 6.6%of the global workforce. The report provides a regional outlook and indicates that the Central and South-Eastern Europe (non-EU) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CSEE & CIS) experienced the most severe shock in terms of economic growth of all regions. The report notes that the ILO has adopted a Global Jobs Pact, aimed at creating jobs, including green jobs strategies, protecting workers and stimulating economic recovery.

 

Links to further information

UN News Centre, 27 January 2010

ILO press release, 26 January 2010

The Global Employment Trends report

 

JANUARY 2010

UN TACKLES FOOD SECURITY CRISIS IN SOMALIA

On 5 February 2010, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported that the humanitarian crisis is expected to exacerbate in Somalia, with an estimated 3.2 million people, or 42% of the population, in need of emergency aid. FAO indicates that one in 22 children is severely malnourished, one of the highest rates of acute malnutrition in the world. Most of the regions affected are located in the south and central Somalia, which are still affected by conflict.

 

Drought due to below-average rainfall has been affecting pastoral and agro-pastoral people, who are in need of livelihood support and assistance to recover. FAO reports that if agricultural areas in the south recover to boost productivity, food availability could reduce the number of rural people in crisis.

Link to further information

UN News Centre, 27 January 2010

UNEP PREPARES TO LEAD ENVIRONMENTAL RECOVERY IN HAITI

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced it will lead the environmental recovery effort in Haiti, which was struck by an earthquake on 12 January 2010, by ensuring that environmental issues are integrated into the respective cluster response plans. The UN is appealing for US$562 million, covering a period of six months, with US$1 million earmarked for environmental interventions. Major environmental issues, including waste management, mass burials and disposal of demolition material, are anticipated in the early recovery phase. Together with immediate efforts, UNEP announced it will continue to develop the Haiti Regeneration Initiative, a long-term programme aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability to natural hazards through the restoration of ecosystems and sustainable natural resource management.

Link to further information

UNEP press release, 20 January 2010

UNESCO REPORTS ON FINANCIAL CRISIS AND CLIMATE IMPACT ON EDUCATION

On 19 January 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova launched the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York, US. At the report�s launch, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the fundamental right to education, which he said should not be based on wealth, gender, race, ethnicity or language. The report points out that about 72 million children worldwide are still out of school, as a result of countries� slower economic growth and rising poverty, which increases marginalization in education. The report also points out that girls are often the first to feel the effects. In Pakistan and Uganda, for example, climate-related shocks result in far more girls being taken out of school than boys. The report indicates that cross-country research on past economic crises and climate events shows that the effects of shocks on schooling tend to be more pronounced in low income countries than in middle-income countries. Often, the children of the poorest households are most likely to suffer adverse consequences with regard to education, health and nutrition, and poverty tends to persist across generations.

 

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova noted that there is a financing gap of US$16 billion per year to reach the education goal and urged donor countries and the G20 group of developed and developing countries to scale up aid needed.

Links to further information

UNESCO press release

UN News Centre, 19 January 2010

UN Secretary-General speech

 

UN REPORT ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES� POVERTY AND CLIMATE CHANGE VULNERABILITY 

On 14 January 2010, the UN released its State of the World�s Indigenous Peoples� Report with the Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) Victoria Tauli-Corpuz describing the poverty situation of indigenous peoples in both developed and developing countries. The report provides disaggregated data that shows that indigenous persons often suffer from inadequate nutrition, lack of productive resources, limited access to education and health care, and vulnerability to environmental pollution and climate change despite their carbon neutral lifestyles � particularly in the Arctic and Pacific islands. The report highlights that the future of indigenous peoples is closely linked to solutions to the biodiversity loss and climate change crises.

 

The report indicates that there are about 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide, which comprises five per cent of the world�s population and one-third of the world�s 900 million extremely poor rural people. Data show that indigenous peoples� life expectancy is up to 20 years lower than non-indigenous, and that indigenous communities have higher levels of maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, malaria and tuberculosis, and other diseases.

On the same day, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a meeting with 16 indigenous representatives to prepare for the 20th anniversary of UNDP�s flagship Human Development Report. The meeting discussed how the concept of human development could encompass issues related to self-determination, cultural preservation, identity and spirituality, as well as the close connection of environmental integrity and well-being of indigenous peoples.  

 

Links to further information

UN Press Conference on State of the World�s Indigenous Peoples� Report
UNDP Newsroom

The report

 

UNIFEM LAUNCHES FUND FOR GENDER EQUALITY

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched the Fund for Gender Equality, which will provide grants to support initiatives worldwide to empower women and to promote their political participation and property rights. The Fund, financially supported by the Governments of Spain and Norway, will provide US$68 million dollars to accelerate ongoing initiatives on the ground. Initiatives emphasized should support Government and civil society partnerships, and focus on vulnerable women including indigenous women, high-risk groups and those affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as women who are small farmers facing food insecurity and exposed to the negative effects of climate change. 

 

The first tranche of the Fund, totaling US$9 million, will benefit 27 initiatives across 26 countries, including support to women in the informal sector in Cameroon, Egypt and the Philippines and promoting political participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Morocco and in the Pacific Islands.

 

Links to further information

UN News Centre

UNIFEM press release

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