Port Vila, Vanuatu - The Prime Minister, Honourable Ham Lini Vanuaroroa today launched the new UN Joint Presence of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vanuatu.

During the launch ceremony the three agencies and the Government of Vanuatu also signed the UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP Country Programme Action Plans for 2008 -2012.

The UN agencies also announced a significant increase in resource allocations to Vanuatu. The three UN Agencies have more than doubled their core contributions and will be seeking to establish partnerships to leverage more funds for programmes of support to the Government.

Overall the agencies are aiming to increase expenditure by approximately 350 percent over the next five years, which will enable the UN to support the Government to take results to scale.

In his statement at the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister noted that the launch marks a new era of UN partnership with Vanuatu and he emphasized the need for partnership in development to bring about more and better results for the people of Vanuatu.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Richard Dictus said the Joint Presence in Vanuatu represents an innovative and exciting collaboration among UN agencies.

“The Joint Presence and the new programmes agreed too with the Government, will be more efficient and effective in achieving real results and real change for families and communities. These programmes build on our strengths and experience in working at the national and provincial levels and respond very directly to the development priorities of the people of Vanuatu,” Mr Dictus added.

The Joint Presence and programmes of the three agencies are a result of extensive national consultations beginning in 2006 in response to clearly articulated development priorities and operational needs by the Government of Vanuatu.

Guiding the work of the Joint Presence is a common, multi-country United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) which was produced in consultation with regional and national partners. This will guide UN supported development activities in 14 Pacific countries during 2008-2012.

UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA are also establishing Joint Presences in Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Tuvalu by the end of this year.

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