New York, USA - The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched its Asia-Pacific Regional Report ‘Leveraging Change for Better Lives’ in New York today, highlighting a string of successful programmes implemented between 2008 and 2012 in the region.
“The report is testament to the UNDP´s contribution to improve people's lives and the increased importance that UNDP attributes to results reporting and solid analysis of evidence of how we support transformational change,” said Rebeca Grynspan, Under Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator, who hosted the launch at the UN Headquarters.Ambassador Le Hoai Trung of Vietnam, Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh and Ambassador Wang Min of China were present to share the experience of their respective governments in working with UNDP.
“During this five years period covered by the report, UNDP delivered US $5.7 billion in programmes in Asia and the Pacific that have transformed people’s lives. For example, UNDP support for the government of India has helped create 40 million jobs, its partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) led to the production of 15,000 zero-emission electric cars in Sri Lanka, and its work with local governments across the region has made 11.9 million people eligible to vote,” said Mr. Haoliang Xu, UNDP’s new Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP).
One of the main areas where UNDP development programmes made a difference was in building resilience to disasters and climate change. In seven of the region’s most disaster-prone countries, deaths from natural disasters have fallen following UNDP’s support in strengthening preparedness and response and recovery and in these seven countries government investment in disaster risk reduction has increased by $USD 1 billion, partly as a consequence of UNDP’s support. This report also highlights how after disaster hit, UNDP helped build resilience by creating two million workdays in Pakistan, Myanmar and Nepal.
The report covers the results achieved in the 36 countries and territories in the Asia and Pacific region where UNDP works, it includes stories from China, India, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam on how UNDP has supported poverty reduction and the MDGs, strengthening democratic governance, building resilience and responding to crisis and conserving natural resources and energy efficiency.
“Asia-Pacific has a tremendous potential for more inclusive development that is possible with advances in gender equality. Although much has been achieved in for example girls’ educational attainment, women’s economic and political empowerment continues to be a pressing priority for the region.” adds Ms. Grysnpan.
It is the first time UNDP presents such a comprehensive report on programmatic results in Asia and the Pacific. This report, besides being a compilation of results achieved in the region, is also a witness to the cooperation between the UNDP and government partners.
“As we celebrate our achievements, we must remain focused on the challenges of the MDGs. The key Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015 was met by the Asia-Pacific region, but it is still home to most of the world’s poor,” added Mr. Xu. Terming the MDG’s as the “defining challenge of our time,” Mr. Xu said his priority is to accelerate progress of the goals to meet the 2015 deadline.
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