Friday, February 27, 2009

International Women's Day

Picture five of your female acquaintances from around the world in a room. One woman will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Of your three closest female friends, one will experience physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime. Whether influenced by the fear of shaming their family, or by the fear of societal reproach, only one of the two women will speak out against the crimes committed against her.

To help combat crimes against women such as rape, murder, abuse, FGM, and human trafficking, the UN has launched its UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign. By improving criminal justice systems and providing legal and health services to victims of abuse around the world, the campaign hopes to drastically reduce the number of women who are victims of gender-based crimes annually.

March 8, 2009 will mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day that fosters the promotion of women’s rights around the globe.

To find out more about the UNiTE campaign or International Women’s Day, click here

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

R&R = Rubble and Reconstruction

After the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seemingly ended, the new task of helping rebuild the Gaza strip is underway, partially with the help of $613 million requested for the removal of rubble and deliverance of basic necessities. After 22 days of violent conflict about 68 government buildings, 14,000 private homes, and 31 NGO buildings have been either partially or completely destroyed according to UNDP. The $613 million request by the UN flash appeal will include a portion of which will be used to help remove the 600,000 tons of concrete rubble so reconstruction can begin.

For assessing the damages in Gaza, several different teams have been deployed to examine area such as health education, agriculture, infrastructure and environment that will help determine what should be done to get Gaza back on a path for sustainable development. The rubble removal alone will provide 200,000 work days for unemployed gazans.

For more information:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success

What would you do with over 20 tons of fresh dung per day?
(A) Build a giant dung castle complete with dung drawbridge
(B) Fill many large paper bags that will be left flaming on the front step of the neighbor that kicked your dog
(C) Add earthworms and make compost

(A) and (B) sound more exciting, but (C) is actually what 12 women in Sauraha, Nepal, did with support from the UNDP GEF/Small Grants Programme and Pesticide Monitor Nepal, an NGO.

Each elephant in the elephant jungle safari in Sauhara produces 130kg of dung per day. The women found a way to manage the waste by making vermicompost. In two months, the women sold 2 tons of vermicompost and earned Rs. 24,000. It has led 60 other women to start similar enterprises. The composting has also given rise to organic farming in the community.

For more information, check out the rest of the article here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

India's Caste System Falling Down? At least, Fiscally?

Finally the rights of the poor are being explored by the powerful. With urbanization increasing with growing GDP, the UNDP has issued the first ever India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 to address the issue. The report lays the foundation for a strategy against continuing rising poverty even with increasing GDP while showing poverty is independent of economic growth.

With 23.7 percent of the population living in urban slums, the poor must be at the center of analysis. Not only do the services for the poor need to be delivered to them now, they need to be delivered even when the influx of urbanization is at 50% projected for 2030 in the report. By achieving this, the MDG's (Millenium Development Goals), like cutting global poverty in half by 2015, are starting to come to life in a structural way.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

UN TV? Really? George says yes!

2008 was a busy year. Check out this 11 minute video for an overview of the UN's efforts. Of course it doesn't catch everything, but it is a great reminder of all of the work the UN does.

Feel like learning more? Try watching UN Television or listening to UN Radio? Check them out at

In the mood to do something neat? Why not start a campaign to get your local cable provider to offer a UN TV Chanel in their basic service pack or get your local public television station to air some of the United Nation's video programs? Click here to find contact information for UN Television.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How UNDP Helped the Republic of Georgia After Conflict

In August 2008 there was a conflict between Russia and Georgia. The conflict destroyed livelihoods of many. To help restore normalcy to Georgia, the United Nations Development Program worked closely with the Georgian Government.

We could write more about it, but instead we thought you might like to listen:

Check out this video blog by UNDP staff member Louisa Vinton to learn about UNDP's efforts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Little Privacy Please?!?

A beautiful sunset across the horizon of an exotic beach, a small paper umbrella laying off to the side of a cold glass beaded with droplets of water. Seeing this, you probably would be enjoying your vacation in one of the many islands in the Caribbean. It is true that peaceful and relaxing resorts are a staple of the area but behind the scenes of those tropical landscapes, the poor inhabitants of the islands are not enjoying their homes as the tourist do.

The UNDP is working in Trinidad and Tobago in their Community Outreach and Response Initiative (CORe) setting up a Social Development Small Grants Program. One of the aspects of this program is to work on building and diversifying the private sector by supporting small business development, training that develops skills to be used to earn an income, enhancement of literacy & numeric skills, and healthy family functioning (parenting, gender relations, care of the elderly, dysfunctional families, life skills development, early childhood care). Through this program, Trinidad and Tobago should get a little more privacy, a private sector that is!

For more information on the SDSG Program, click here.