Lusaka, 14 February 2011 – Today the United Nations and the Government of Zambia launched the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Zambia, 2011-2015. This framework, aligned to national development priorities of the country, is the strategic planning document of the United Nations that embodies the UN systems collective contribution to Zambia’s Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP 2011-2015). At the heart of this contribution is support to the country’s drive towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, with an emphasis on equity.
This launch also marks a new chapter of the partnership between the UN and the Government over the coming five years in which the UN in Zambia “Delivers as One.” The UNDAF brings together 12 UN resident agencies and 13 non-resident agencies as a One UN team to support Government-led development efforts in the areas of HIV and AIDs, agriculture and food security, democratic governance, gender equality, climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation, and human development. Across these sectors and themes, the value-added role and voice of the UN in Zambia comes from its focus on issues of equity, inclusiveness and social justice so that the benefits of growth are balanced and distributed to reach the most vulnerable parts of the population and that Zambians participate fully in their own development.
“The strengthening of national institutions and peoples’ capacities to engage, plan, manage and deliver on their own development agenda is therefore the results focus of this UNDAF for Zambia during the coming five years,” said UN Resident Coordinator Kanni Wignaraja.
The UNDAF has been developed and is supported by the UN’s Government partners across ministries and localities, as well as cooperating and non-government partners, including civil society, NGOs and the private sector, who are a key part of the broader stakeholder groups the UN works with in Zambia. Given Zambia’s growing regional and global stature, the inputs and engagement of regional organizations and the active involvement of global development institutions and networks in the preparation of the UNDAF also ensures that the UN will build upon best practices, lessons and expertise in the implenenation of strategic framework over the next five years.
In advocating for MDGs in the country, the UNDAF stresses the following focus areas:
- First: In the past few years Zambia’s economy has continued to register positive performance with GDP growth ranging between 5-6%. However, poverty rates remain high and the growing rural-urban disparities must be addressed through appropriate distributive policies and local development investments, including in small scale agriculture.
- Second: Combating new HIV infections and renewed efforts at eradicating TB, malaria and malnutrition remains essential, through a continued emphasis on education and prevention efforts, while providing treatment, care and support.
- Third: Promoting gender empowerment and equity by addressing the fundamental problems that underlie women’s limited representation in national decision making bodies, low levels of education attainment, secondary school dropout rates, early pregnancy and concerns around gender based violence, and unacceptably high maternal mortality.
- Fourth: An emphasis on decent work and creating jobs, especially for young people, is a must for Zambia to nurture a more productive, skilled and competitive labour force as the foundations of a prosperous and stable society;
- Fifth: Attention also needs to be placed on ensuring environmental sustainability and responding wisely and rapidly to the impacts of climate change.
“Zambia has to ensure that the SNDP and Vision 2030 are backed by the right policy choices and institutional transformations to make these strategic goals a reality by 2015, especially for Zambia’s most vulnerable children and women,” said Wignaraja.
Today, the UN with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning also signed the Country Programme Action Plans (CPAPs) of the UN Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, UN Population Fund, and the World Food Programme.
“The CPAPs embody the areas of programme priority, expertise and comparative value-add brought by each of these agencies to the common development agenda,” said Wignaraja “In support of national efforts in these defined and articulated strategic areas, the United Nations in Zambia hopes to deliver approximately $80-90 million per year in development assistance over the next five years through the country programmes of its agencies.”
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