Asmara, Eritrea — Encouraging sustainable livelihoods and food security, and addressing environmental degradation are among the forthcoming priorities for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) support for the government and people of Eritrea.
The UNDP Eritrea Country Programme for 2013-2016, approved by UNDP's Executive Board in New York last week, responds to the government's development aspirations of achieving rapid, sustainable economic growth with social equity and justice.
UNDP will assist the government to accelerate progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals; for example, by improving the delivery of government services, as well as building national capacity in areas such as the implementation, monitoring and reporting on international obligations and commitments.
To strengthen the country's capacity to mainstream gender in national policies and strategies, UNDP will support the National Union of Eritrean Women and key government institutions.
Jointly with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, a major intervention will involve increasing the productive capacity of farming, fishing and agricultural communities, and creating employment and income-generating opportunities.
This will contribute to improving the availability and affordability of food for all Eritreans, and help build the resilience and the economic recovery of war and drought affected populations.
As part of mitigating climate-related risks and reducing environmental degradation, UNDP will work with partners to replicate successful renewable energy technologies in solar and wind-rich areas.
Eritrea's first wind energy pilot project, supported by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility, currently produces 18-20 per cent of the Port City of Assab's energy needs and has reduced annual diesel power generation costs by over 30 per cent as well as cutting carbon emissions, while promoting social and economic benefits.
The UNDP Country Programme is anchored in the new UN Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework 2013-2016 between the UN Country Team and the Government of Eritrea, which was signed in Asmara a week ago.
Prepared through a consultative process, the cooperation framework's main purpose is to enhance the well-being of the people of Eritrea, in particular the most vulnerable. It replaces the previous 2007-2011 UN Development Assistance Framework.
According to the signed framework of cooperation, the UN will mobilize about US$188 million.
In 2013, it is 20 years since Eritrea gained its independence.
The UNDP Country Programme will remain flexible to accommodate themes and issues that may emerge from Eritrea's National Development Plan, which is being finalised by the government.