Why prepare for disaster recovery?

08 Jun 2017 by Lucile Gingembre, Preparedness for Disaster Recovery Project Coordinator, UNDP

Recovery offers a window of opportunity to make the right decisions to reduce future risk and increase resilience. Photo: UNDP
When mega-hurricane Katrina hit the US twelve years ago, I remember staring in amazement at my TV screen. I couldn’t understand why the country seemed so unprepared to deal with the catastrophe and get back on its feet. Years later, many lessons have been drawn; the number one take away is: “Make every possible effort to reduce risk”; number two “Have a plan and be ready”. The aftermath of a disasters can be challenging with many stakeholders, competing priorities and limited financial resources. Many questions come to mind: How can we ensure that recovery and reconstruction do not lead to an accumulation of new risks and vulnerability? How can we balance speed with quality of recovery efforts? How can we make sure recovery leaves no one behind and contribute to broader development goals? Recovery offers a window of opportunity to make the right decisions to reduce future risk and increase resilience. Through the project I coordinate, UNDP, with funding from the Governments of Japan and Luxembourg supports Governments and communities across five African countries prepare for disaster recovery. In the past three years, countries have reinforced institutional capacity, established supportive policies and guidelines, built partnerships and identified financing mechanisms for recovery. Altogether these efforts … Read more

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