UNDP in Europe and Central Asia
Who we are
Despite impressive economic growth and poverty reduction successes, large sections of the region’s population remain vulnerable to poverty and at risk of exclusion. For many, vulnerability is linked to a lack of formal sector employment opportunities, which has led to increased insecurity and large migration flows. High and growing inequalities are increasingly understood to undermine prospects for sustainable development through a multitude of channels.
UNDP helps countries pursue a development response to all citizens, to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone, including those at greater risk of exclusion (ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, internally displaced persons, rural populations, women and young people). Through investments in improved care of natural resources, we support a sustainable balancing of human and environmental priorities. This includes:
• Promoting human development and tackling the drivers of social exclusion to ensure that Roma and other disadvantaged groups are not left behind
• Integrating the Millennium Development Goals into national development strategies and transitioning to post-2015 development framework of the Sustainable Development Goals
• Promoting social protection systems to extend greater protection to the poor and at-risk groups from major natural, economic, and conflict-related shocks
• Policy design and monitoring that enables trade and productive capacities that are diversified, add value, and help create employment and livelihoods
• Sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services for expanded employment and livelihoods.
What we do
Recent UNDP research in Georgia confirmed deep-seated gender discrimination—88 percent of Georgians think men should be family breadwinners. To counter stereotypes, we kicked off a national campaign to Change Your Mind, to much fanfare (and over 40,000 Facebook ‘likes’). We also encouraged nearly 200 women leaders to act as role models, widely publicizing their achievements.
In Armenia, UNDP has been focusing on poverty reduction support at the local level, where homegrown solutions have taken hold. As a result, UNDP's programme of local development projects has contributed to bridging serious socioeconomic gaps in Armenia. UNDP has trained more than 600 start-up entrepreneurs in some of the country's most remote and underdeveloped communities.
Tajikistan has been showcasing the importance of decentralized decision-making through district level planning. With support from the UNDP-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative, a robust monitoring and evaluation framework has been developed linking 35 District Development Plans (DDPs), integrating sustainable development in four regions, and feeding into national level development planning.
Social exclusion has been recognized by the Government of Montenegro as one of the major societal challenges, and its eradication has been made one of the country's key priorities. With an aim to facilitate access of vulnerable, socially excluded groups to comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable family and community based services, the UNDP has partnered to support social services to the elderly in some 30 remote villages.
Also through direct support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, UNDP supported Namangan Crafts Centre (Uzbekistan) to develop its capacities, which now has 24 officially employed women, including two staff with disability. With this support, the craft centre has produced more than 10,000 units and is going strong. Also in Namangan, we supported women entrepreneurs to move to the formal sector, creating 10 new jobs. They have since sold 19,000 units of knitwear and have begun exporting to Russia.