K. Besigye being detained

COVID-19: UNDP Commends Doubling of Germany’s Support to Flexible Core Funding

By Radwan Jakeem

NEW YORK (IDN) – Germany has become the largest funding partner to the 2020 core resources of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a result of a hike to €110 million, equivalent to more than $124 million.

In 2019, Germany provided €50 million to UNDP’s core resources. As a strong supporter of multilateralism and international cooperation, Germany has been the largest government contributor to UNDP since 2017.

Commenting Germany’s decision to increase its investment in the signature UN body, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said: “This significant contribution of flexible resources reflects Germany’s strong commitment to the developing world and its appreciation of the importance of investing in a rapid global recovery from COVID-19. By leveraging the capacity and programmes of UNDP in 170 countries, Germany’s investment strengthens the capacity of the United Nations to help the world emerge from this crisis.”

He added: “Despite the pandemic, none of UNDP’s teams across the world have stopped working during these past months, because we are determined to deliver on our promise to leave no-one behind. We deeply appreciate the confidence and continued trust shown by Germany in our commitment and in our ability to deliver at this critical time.”

According to the UNDP, this increased support comes at a critical juncture. Over the past months, the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the health and livelihoods of millions of people around the world, stressing every country it touches with potentially devastating social, economic and political effects.

UNDP estimates that global human development — a combination of the world’s education, health, and living standards — will likely fall this year for the first time since 1990 when the measurement began. “Urgent action is needed to address the health crisis, stabilize economies, and mitigate against future damage,” says the UNDP.

Flexible development resources like those provided by Germany enable UNDP to build on ands accelerate efforts to tackle the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to further invest in reducing conflict, strengthening institutions and the rule of law, and encouraging digital innovation.

Gerd Müller, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany, emphasized: “We are stepping up our engagement to support UNDP in responding quickly to the COVID-19 crisis. Together with our partner countries around the world we are working towards achieving a green recovery that is carbon-neutral and helps us move forward on achieving the SDGs.”

Core resource contributions to the United Nations are unearmarked and thus not for specific projects. Rather, as set out by the UN Secretary-General through the Funding Compact with UN Member States, they are flexible, low-cost and low-transaction means which enable the UN to adapt to rapidly changing landscapes across the countries it serves.  

For example, core resources helped UNDP’s country teams to quickly mobilize support to the COVID-19 priorities of 130 countries, from helping government officials in Sudan to work remotely, to securing medical supplies in Nigeria, to developing an online learning platform for children in Moldova.

Today, UNDP and its sister UN agencies are working with countries across five regions to put in place socio-economic recovery plans, as part of UNDP’s role as the United Nations technical lead on the socio-economic recovery of COVID-19. Going forward, UNDP will assist countries to go beyond recovery, focused on four areas: governance, social protection, green economy, and digital disruption, with the Sustainable Development Goals as a compass.

Germany’s longstanding partnership with UNDP includes a focus on strengthening local resilience in conflict and crisis-hit regions, promoting effective responses to the impacts of the Syria crisis in neighboring countries, supporting the stabilization of areas regained from ISIL control in Iraq, and now the opportunity to transition to democratic governance in Sudan, for example. It also includes supporting the creation of 60 Accelerator Labs to explore, experiment and grow new development solutions.

Looking ahead, the partnership will include efforts to address the root causes of migration, incentivize private sector investment in emerging markets, including across Africa, tackle climate change, and strengthen gender equality and human rights. [IDN-InDepthNews – 15 July 2020]

Photo: Flexible development resources like those provided by Germany enable UNDP to build on and accelerate efforts to tackle the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: UNDP Bangladesh/Fahad Kaizer

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