About UNDP Country Offices in Asia-Pacific
UNDP has offices in 24 countries in Asia and the Pacific and works in 36. Our primary mandate is to work with the government and other development partners to achieve human development goals in the country. In consultation with them, UNDP identifies needs or constraints in achieving human development goals and subsequently develops an overarching country programme which defines the areas of work for a specific period of time (Click here for the current Country Programme Documents for all of our countries).
Reflecting the diversity of democratic governance challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, the work at the country level in this area is multifaceted. Support for democratic elections is an important part of our work in this area. In 2008, UNDP supported democratic elections in several countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Maldives, and Pakistan, helping bring democratically elected governments to all of South Asia for the first time in history. Improvement of access to justice is another important area. In Timor-Leste, UNDP’s largest programme supported the decentralization of the formal justice system into the judiciary districts.
Despite remarkable progress in reducing poverty, especially in China and India, the region still houses 900 million people living on less than $1.25 a day and millions more are expected to be nudged back into poverty due to the recent global economic crisis. In India, UNDP is supporting the government to launch a pilot conditional cash transfer programme to help children stay in school and ensure basic health care and vaccination. In Myanmar, thousands of community based organizations such as women’s self-help groups and farmers’ committees, have been established with the support from UNDP to strengthen their economic base. In Nepal, UNDP was the largest HIV and AIDS prevention and care provider reaching to over 1.4 million migrant workers and 36,000 men having sex with men, working through 59 NGOs and 103 community-based organizations.
Crisis Prevention and Recovery
The Asia-Pacific region is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and conflicts. It is estimated that 70% of all fatalities due to natural disasters occur in the Asia-Pacific region. Conflicts continue to cast a shadow on long-term development and poverty alleviation in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. UNDP’s work in this area focuses on crisis prevention, disaster risk management, and restoring the foundations for development. Early recovery work from recent natural disasters is ongoing in the Pacific, Philippines, India, Bhutan, Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Indonesia. In Sri Lanka, the Country Office is working closely with the government to address the reintegration of internally displaced persons and restore the economic foundations to rebuild their livelihoods.
Environment and Sustainable Development
Rapid economic growth in the region over the last several decades has left side effects of deteriorating land, water and air quality and the loss of ecosystems, which can potentially undermine the achievement of the long-term human development. The region is also vulnerable to extreme natural calamities which are amplified by changes in climate conditions. UNDP is working with governments to strengthen national capacities to integrate environment and energy concerns into national development plans and implementation systems. In Viet Nam, UNDP provided technical support for the enactment of the first-ever Biodiversity Law.
In addition to implementing the country programme, UNDP – led by the Resident Coordinator – coordinates development activities for the United Nations system as a whole in the country. Through such coordination, UNDP seeks to ensure the most effective use of UN and international aid resources.