Yemen needs broad support to stop its crisis

24 Apr 2017 by Auke Lootsma, CO Director Yemen

It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory. Photo: UNDP
At pledging conference, donors must stand and deliver. Fragile, impoverished Yemen already ranked among the world’s poorest countries when political transition erupted into all-out war two years ago. To make things worse, the country is also suffering the largest food security crisis worldwide. It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory. Yemen’s deepening crisis has reversed decades of hard-won development gains, with civilians paying an appalling price. Five years ago, for example, as a result of UNDP’s de-mining efforts, the country was nearly mine-free. Now, all 22 governorates are littered with explosives, in some cases severely. More than 3.3 million people have been displaced, 10,000 killed, and 40,000 injured in the ongoing conflict.  Yemen has historically imported 90 percent of its food, overwhelmingly through the embattled port of Hodeidah. With ports, roads, bridges, and other basic infrastructure badly damaged - and in some cases blockaded - and domestic agriculture disrupted, Yemenis are now on the brink of an avoidable famine. Some 17 million people now don’t know where they might find their next meal and 6.8 million face life-threatening malnutrition—in a country of only 27 million, mostly younger … Read more

Islamic Finance: An Innovative Avenue For Financing The Sustainable Development Goals

03 Mar 2017 by Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Assistant Administrator of UNDP

The Islamic Development Bank and UNDP have established the Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP) to promote market-based solutions to sustainable development challenges.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to eradicate poverty in all its forms, promote sustained and inclusive economic growth and ensure social development and environmental protection while supporting peaceful, just and inclusive societies. To succeed, the international, national and local actors, including the private sector, will have to venture in a true global partnership backed by adequate financial and technical resources. For developing countries, the required investment for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be approximately US$4.5 trillion per year, with an additional requirement of US$3.1 trillion. The Official Development Assistance is nowhere nearly sufficient to implement this agenda. Thus, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda calls for the mobilization of all possible sources of finance and the alignment of all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities. Private resources are key to achieving the SDGs Fortunately, there are enough resources globally to address the greatest development challenges. The financing gap required for the SDGs is only 1.1 percent of the value of global capital markets, which is estimated to be US$218 trillion. We now need to deploy all these resources in a coherent and coordinated fashion to move from billions in development assistance to trillions in development … Read more

Haiti: 3 months after Hurricane Matthew, 7 years after the earthquake

11 Jan 2017 by Yvonne Helle, Country Director, UNDP Haiti

The road to recovery is a long one. UNDP provides conditions for long-term recovery, resilience and sustainable development. Photo: UNDP Haiti
Hurricane Matthew was the first Category 4 storm to landfall in Haiti in 52 years, creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the country since the 2010 earthquake. At least 546 people died and the lives of 2.2 million people were affected. Of course, key infrastructure was damaged: in some areas, 90 per cent of homes were destroyed. Farming, fishing and small scale commercial activities were severely hit, depriving people of livelihoods and income. For instance, the Grand’Anse and Sud departments have seen 70 and 100 per cent of crops being destroyed. Three months after the disaster, people in the most affected areas still need immediate help to meet their basic needs, and, not less urgently, access to new opportunities to make a sustainable living. While the humanitarian response is still gathering pace, rehabilitation and recovery must also start immediately to reduce dependence on relief. Drawing on the lessons of the 2010 earthquake, our post-Matthew response was designed and is being implemented in close partnership with national and local authorities. Here is a snapshot of what UNDP has done since October … Read more

To leave no one behind, Least Developed Countries need new financing tools

14 Dec 2016 by Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and Philippe Orliange, Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Communication, AFD

To leave no one behind, the least developed countries need new financing toolsLike other Least Developed Countries, Zambia has pursued major structural reforms to attract the investment needed to finance sustainable development. UNDP photo
At the UN General Assembly last September, 193 countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious new agenda for sustainable development to be achieved over the next fifteen years. The central aim of the so-called “2030 Agenda” is to “leave no one behind”. And while it will be a challenge for all countries to meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda, it is clear that it will be especially difficult for the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) most of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are countries where levels of deprivation are acute, infrastructure is inadequate, economies are vulnerable and capital is in short supply. To enable the transformation of these countries to middle-income status, considerable investments will be required within a short time-frame. Many LDCs have made considerable social and economic progress over recent years: poverty has declined, more children are now in school, health indicators have improved and many have enjoyed sustained periods of unprecedented economic growth. At the same time, considerable challenges remain. For example, LDCs remain very vulnerable to shocks and stresses, such as extreme weather events, fluctuations in commodity prices, and disease outbreaks – as the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa demonstrated. Shocks can cause significant development setbacks. … Read more

Climate-Smart Loans for Smallholders: How we are Going to Scale for Impact in a USD 200 billion Market

23 Nov 2016 by Mark Ellis-Jones, Co-founder, F3 Life

A pilot client signing land management agreement in which the client agreed to build out an incremental system of soil and water conservation measures which will protect her soils for increased crop yield. Credits @ F3 LIFE
Obadiah Ngigi and I met whilst working in the environmental sector in Kenya. We both realised how financial systems for agricultural activities inadvertently contributed to environmental degradation by being blind to unsustainable use of natural resources. With a few tweaks, we thought, eco-conscious loans for agriculture could play an important role in protecting the environment and climate. Out of this realization originated our idea to start F3 Life – a company designed to help lenders provide agricultural finance to farmers, fishers and forest-users (the 3 “Fs” to which our name, F3 Life refers) on terms that specifically sought to improve environmental sustainability. In November 2014, at the Lima Climate COP 20, our organisation was selected for the UNDP and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Ltd Climate Change Finance Innovation Award in recognition of our work in designing and helping pilot a system of eco-loans. While under the conventional financial system, farmers take a loan and repay it with interest, farmers under the F3 Life system also sign an agreement under which they promise to farm their land in a sustainable way. This includes practices such as soil management to enhance soil fertility and to increase absorption of carbon emissions in … Read more