PHOTO ESSAY: Looking back on 2016: The year in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Take a trip around the region and see what we've been working on to reduce poverty and inequalities and improve health and security.

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FEATURED GLOBAL GOAL | Goal 4: Quality education

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. In addition to safe, healthy and primary school for children, the goal also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.

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BLOG POST: How much does peace cost?

A report recently issued by The Institute for Economics and Peace found that the world spent nearly $14 trillion on war in 2015 alone. That's 100 times greater than the resources set aside for the official development assistance that finances international development cooperation.

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FEATURE: In Azerbaijan, rural women start breaking the cycle of poverty

In rural areas of the country, many women are still deprived of the opportunity to actively participate in social and economic life, especially because of early marriage. But through Women Resource Centers, they are learning new skills and opening businesses.

hands preparing food
BLOG POST: One solution can "feed" multiple benefits

Early every morning in a southern town of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 15 people on social welfare arrive at the soup kitchen that has been established in a local kindergarten to pick up prepared meals, including warm pies and traditional stews. On Fridays they receive packages to help them get through the weekend. The beauty of the program is that it tackles two of the country’s biggest development challenges at the same time.

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FEATURE: Adding value to agriculture in Armenia

The ENPARD programme is designed to support the agricultural institutions, encourage the development of farmers’ associations, and improve access to more affordable food in the European Neighborhood countries.

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Turkish movie stars say no to violence against women

  Acclaimed Turkish actors Mert Fırat and Melisa Sözen are starring in a new UNDP advocacy video that takes on domestic violence in Turkey and the region with a powerful message: “Violence has no excuse”. The campaign is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s efforts to combat violence...

VIDEO: Evgeny & Ilona: Battling the odds side-by-side

Evgeny and Ilona thought they would only have a few years together, but Evgeny, who has HIV, has fought for their good life.

Agricultural success in Egypt
A survival book for data innovation

As new data sources are sprouting everywhere, a group of enthusiasts from UNDP in Eastern Europe and the Arab States regions embarked twenty months ago on a big data for development exploration journey with support from the Government of Denmark.

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Broad coalition comes together to boost gender equality in the Western Balkans and Turkey

In Budva, Montenegro, participants in a regional conference on advancing gender equality in the countries of the Western Balkans* and Turkey have agreed on the need to intensify cooperation to increase women’s presence and influence in decision-making and end all forms of violence against women.women.

citizens in legal aid center
FEATURE: Legal Aid Centers provide access to justice for Tajikistan's citizens

Access to justice in Tajikistan is difficult, especially for poor people and people in rural areas. Tajikistan has few lawyers, and the court system is overburdened and slow. Legal Aid Centers bring access to citizens.

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Get involved: 16 days to end violence against women

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. You can show your support - If you have a Facebook account, change your profile picture to show your friends that you support the goal to end violence against women and girls.

BLOG POST: How are we promoting healthier lifestyles and development in Belarus?

Every year non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause 38 million deaths globally, according to the WHO. In addition to being a public health concern, non-communicable diseases also represent a developmental challenge placing high burden on economies and societies.

empty boat around the Aral Sea
PHOTO ESSAY: Can the Aral Sea make a comeback?

Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s. And now 20 years after UNDP's first intervention in the region, hope begins to blossom despite impacts from climate change.