High level United Nations Development Group mission visits Eritrea

Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala was warmly welcomed by community members during a visit to a water and sanitation project.Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala was warmly welcomed by community members during a visit to a water and sanitation project.

Eritrea should continue to share its positive stories with the rest of the world, note regional directors after meetings with Government, civil society and community members.

Asmara, 17 November 2014 - A United Nations Development Group for Eastern and Southern Africa (UNDG-ESA) delegation has reaffirmed the UN’s commitment and support to national development endeavours in Eritrea.

The delegation was led by UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, and UNDG focal point for Eritrea, Ms. Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “The UN continues its commitment to partnerships and cooperation,” said Ms Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “We remain results focused and hope to continue to add value in supporting the Government and people of Eritrea.”

In meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the delegation reaffirmed its commitment to expanded engagement on strategic development issuesIn meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the delegation reaffirmed its commitment to expanded engagement on strategic development issues

Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala was accompanied by Mr. Ashraf El Nour, Regional Director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). They met with high-level officials of the Government of the State of Eritrea (GoSE), communities, civil society and development partners to discuss issues related to development cooperation in the country. The talks focused on the expansion of development work as well as conducive conditions for programme collaboration.

Discussing UN support

Meetings were held with technical ministries - here with Minister of National Development, H.E  Dr. Giorgis TeklemikaelMeetings were held with technical ministries - here with Minister of National Development, H.E Dr. Giorgis Teklemikael

The high level meetings– which aimed to follow-up and build on the last UN Development Group High Level Mission to Eritrea in December, 2013 – sought to further the relationship between the Government of Eritrea, the UN and other development partners.

Commenting on progress so far, Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala said:

 “I am pleased to note that since the last mission in December 2013, the momentum has continued and grown further. The task is to remain focussed on achieving the goals of our strategic cooperation framework.”

Field visit highlights community participation

At the meeting with development partners, the delegation was happy to hear donors reaffirming their partnership and collaboration with the United Nations System in Eritrea.At the meeting with development partners, the delegation was happy to hear donors reaffirming their partnership and collaboration with the United Nations System in Eritrea.

Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala also visited joint GoSE and UN projects in water, food security and sustainable livelihoods in Zoba Maekel. The field trip highlighted successful programme implementation and positive results for communities.

“What is really exemplary about the implementation of these joint programmes is that the community is at the centre of the management of the various initiatives. With these innovations, I am convinced that, with time, food security and nutrition, which the Government has pronounced as a “priority of priorities” will be a reality,” said Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala.

“What we saw confirms the positive stories we have heard about Eritrea’s progress in the health-related MDGs,” she continued.

“The world needs your voice”

Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala commended the Government and people of Eritrea, and all the partners involved, for the progress in achieving the health Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the country. She encouraged the Government and people of Eritrea to build on gains already made, and to use the experiences in the health MDGs to help shape the post-2015 development agenda.

“The world, and particularly Africa, needs your voice in defining its position in the next development agenda,” she said.

At a reception concluding the visit, Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala emphasised the important role of the international community in supporting Eritrea’s development agenda, and urged donors to continue to advocate for greater resource mobilisation for development programmes in the country.

The delegation met with the National Union of Eritrean Women and the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students to discuss the involvement of women and young people in the country's development effortsThe delegation met with the National Union of Eritrean Women and the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students to discuss the involvement of women and young people in the country's development efforts

The United Nations in Eritrea partners with the Government of the State of Eritrea in the priority areas of Basic Social Services; National Capacity Development; Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods; Environmental Sustainability and Gender Equity and Advancement of Women under the Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (2013-2016).  The SPCF capitalises on the collective comparative strengths of the UN system in responding to the identified priority areas and enhancing the overall well- being of the people of Eritrea, including the most vulnerable.

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