Geneva / New York, 12 September – The Government of Switzerland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have entered into a new US $14.3m (CHF 14.1 million) partnership agreement to reinforce UNDP’s global efforts on crisis prevention and recovery.
The grant will contribute to UNDP’s work to address the drivers of insecurity and instability; improve access by disadvantaged groups to justice mechanisms; and help to restore effective and inclusive governance institutions in the aftermath of conflict or disasters.
“Addressing the underlying causes of fragility is crucial to help prevent conflict and ensure that countries are more resilient if a crisis does occur,” said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, as he welcomed the new partnership agreement. “The United Nations’ extensive on-the-ground experience around the world has shown that supporting effective state institutions and ensuring access to justice for all are key components to foster much-needed stability and sustain peace.”
With the financial support of Switzerland, UNDP’s Peace and Development Advisors work in over 70 countries, including in the Donbas in Ukraine or supporting peaceful elections in Sierra Leone. Those efforts include support to local mediators as well as national and community-based initiatives which identify early signs of conflict while contributing to social cohesion and reconciliation.
Past cooperation has also led to significant progress in enhancing access to justice and the fight against impunity in the Central African Republic, eg. through new women-led aid clinics established in the country that have provided assistance to more than 10,000 people, including 2,800 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
In addition, the support of Switzerland has facilitated UNDP’s response to the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria through the provision of livelihood support to 82,000 vulnerable persons and rehabilitating school and critical health, water and other government facilities— with the objective to create a stable and safe environment for the return of internally displaced people.
“The UN Secretary General has placed conflict prevention at the top of his agenda. This new Swiss funding will help us to accelerate joint work with UN humanitarian and peace actors, coordinating more effectively to prevent crises from arising and recurring. It also shows that development initiatives are critical to build peace and restore dignity of affected people, and to build viable alternatives to war and chaos,” said Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau.
Currently, more than 1.6 billion people globally live in fragile or conflict-affected settings. The 2019 UN High Level Political Forum identified violence, inequality and exclusion - notably of women, youth and marginalized groups as key obstacles to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
This new partnership agreement between Switzerland and UNDP also represents another milestone as part of the efforts initiated in 2016 as part of the World Humanitarian Summit.
Between 2019 and 2021, the new agreement with Switzerland will support the:
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