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About UNDP in Eritrea

UNDP is the UN development agency that is charged with helping countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of extreme poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion using a sustainable human development approach. To this end UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone

In Eritrea, UNDP has been an important sustainable development partner and champion of for more than forty years.  However, its accredited country office activities started with a Liaison Office in March 1992. After a successful UN supervised referendum in 1993, the Liaison Office was upgraded into a fully-fledged country office in January 1994..


Within the last 22 years, UNDP has committed its efforts to meet the needs of the people of Eritrea by working closely with the government to meet its development objectives.  Support has been focused around capacity development, institutional strengthening, resettlement of internally displaced persons and reintegration of returnee refugees. The total amount of money disbursed to finance projects is slightly more than US$ 100 million.  UNDP jointly with other UN agencies are now implementing the Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Framework (SPCF).

Since 1992, UNDP Eritrea country office has gone through the following programming cycles:

  • Emergency Cycle (1992-1993): focused on rehabilitation and reconstruction.

  • Bridging Programme (1994-1996): This programme aimed at supporting capacity development, the post war emergency programmes of rehabilitation and resettlement of returning refugees as well as demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants.

  • Country Cooperation Framework, CCF (1997-2001): This phase focused on capacity development and institution building.

  • First United Nations Development Assistance Framework, UNDAF (2002-2006): This was the first common planning framework for all UN agencies in Eritrea. The UNDP priorities were promotion of democratic governance, promotion of pro-poor economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.

  • Second UNDAF (2007-2011): In the second UNDAF (2007-201) UN agencies identified and implemented 14 joint programmes that were executed in close collaboration with the Government and local communities.  Positive lessons were learnt from this experience and were included in the current Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Framework (SPCF).

    The UNDAF mid-term review of 2010 established that significant achievements were recorded in basic social services (including HIV and AIDS), capacity building within the civil service, emergency and recovery, and wind energy piloting.  In this UNDAF, UNDP supported capacity development, emergency and recovery, environment, food security and women empowerment.

  • Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Framework (SPCF)
    The SPCF is based on the Government of Eritrea priorities as articulated in the sectoral plans including the National Health Policy; Health Sector Strategic Development Plan 2012-2016;  Eritrea Water Proclamation 162/2010;  Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM);  draft Ministry of Land, Water and Environment Sector Plan: 2012-2015; Rural Sanitation and Strategy Directions for Eritrea, 2007;  Agricultural Development Programme, 2008-2013;  draft Education Sector Plan, 2012 -2016; Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare, 2013-2017;  National Strategic Plan for Injury, Violence and Disability Prevention and Control, 2012-2016; and the National Policy and Gender, 2004.

    The SPCF also draws on the MDGs and other internationally agreed commitments and obligations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).  The resource documents and extensive consultations with implementing partners informed the five interlinked priority areas identified for UN support namely in Basic Social Services; National Capacity Development; Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods; and Environmental Sustainability; and Gender Equity and Advancement of Women from which eight outcomes are articulated.

    Cross cutting issues mainstreamed in the strategic plan include gender, capacity development, disaster risk reduction, and HIV and AIDS, which call for a holistic approach to programming. A key strategy in the implementation of this SPCF will be to tap into the South-South cooperation initiatives aimed at capacity building, synergies, sharing of best practices and experiences.  At the same time, efforts will be made to support Eritrea’s involvement in regional and sub-regional initiatives in economic development and integration, peace building, cross border health initiatives, food security and disaster risk reduction.


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