UN holds donor briefing on Cooperation Framework in Eritrea

Feb 12, 2013

Asmara -  The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) held a donor briefing on the new Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (SPCF 2013-2016) between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the United Nations.

The event was attended by Ambassadors and diplomatic corps from various Embassies in Eritrea and the UN Country Team. Among them include the EU, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, USA, Israel, UK South Africa, South Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Italy, Australia, Germany, ICRC and Russia.

The facilitator for the briefing session was Dr. Osman who explained the purpose of the meeting saying that the intention is to strengthen the existing partnership among development partners of Eritrea.

Welcoming the donor community, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms Christine N. Umutoni stated that the SPCF which was signed on 28 January of this year is a flexible and rolling framework to accommodate issues that may emerge from National Development Plan which is still under development in government. The RC further indicated that UN agency specific Country Programme Documents for UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF are already approved by their respective executive board.

She announced that the new cooperation framework has budget estimate of $188 million for the coming four years. Of this amount $50 million is from UN Agencies’ core resources and the remaining gap of $38 million to be jointly mobilized with Government from donor community.

Representing the UNCT, Mr. Mark Schreiner, UNFPA Country Representative, (OIC), presented the summary of the SPCF. He highlighted that the SPCF was a culmination of a dialogue process from 2007 to June 2012 which provides a renewed cooperation for UN in Eritrea. The SPCF has five strategic areas of focus agreed with the Government of the State of Eritrea. These are Basic Social Services, National Capacity Development, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods, Environmental Sustainability and Gender equality and Empowerment of Women.

The previous (UNDAF 2007-2011) extended to 2012 through an interim framework achieved a lot in the areas of capacity building, basic social services and energy and environment. The total expenditure was USD 175 million against a planned budget of USD 116 million (75% more than the target). In the meeting, representatives of UN Agencies working in Eritrea also took the opportunity to brief development partners on their specific areas of support.

Development partners expressed the appreciation of the UN in organizing such important event and reiterated the need for more engagement between partners and Government. The partners look forward to the UN for leadership and coordination. The UK announced support of USD 15M for next two years, the European Union has just concluded discussions with government on European Development Fund (EDF) 10 which will have a total of 54 million Euro to support food security, justice, and capacity development. European Commission in Eritrea expressed interest in partnering with the UN in the area of food security and capacity building. The Italian Ambassador to Eritrea announces 1 million Euro of support in the area of health and made it clear that most of their support is through UN agencies.

Various participants asked questions and emphasized the need for regular meetings between the UN, government and the partners.

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