|UNDP in Saudi Arabia|
Mission Statement of UNDP Saudi Arabia
UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. World leaders have pledged to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015. UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach these Goals. Our focus is helping countries build and share solutions to the challenges of:
Short History of UNDP Saudi Arabia
The UN's technical cooperation with the country began in 1952 under different UN assistance modalities, before the establishment of the UNDP. In 1965, those various assistance modalities were consolidated to form the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has since acted as a development partner to the government in a variety of projects spanning many fields, and has shaped its services in response to the nation's development needs.
Listed below is a brief theme-based summary of the areas in which the UN has been offering technical assistance:
- Five-Year Development Plans:
- Rural Development:
UNDP’s role in the UN’s Country Team in Saudi Arabia
The UNDP Resident Representative, in Saudi Arabia, also serves as the Resident Coordinator of development activities for the United Nations system as a whole. Although only a handful of UN agencies physically exist on the ground in the country, UNDP seeks through coordination to ensure the most effective use of UN technical assistance to our counterparts in the government and other sectors. The agencies on the ground are: UNICEF; which tackles issues pertaining to Child Survival and Development, Basic Education and Gender Equality, Child Protection, HIV/AIDS and Children, and Policy Advocacy and Partnerships, UNHCR; which aims at protecting refugees and solving refugee problems worldwide, WHO; the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, FAO; which leads international efforts to defeat hunger, IOM; which promotes humane and orderly policies in the movement of persons across borders, and WB; a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.
UNDP holds joint activities and/or programmes with them all and ensures other agencies provide assistance to counterparts through our own programmes. UNDP is jointly working with UNICEF on youth projects and HIV/AIDS related matters. Our work with the World Bank is mainly focused on Water issues. UNDP’s cooperation with ESCWA; UN Economic Commission for Western Asia, UNDESA; the UN Department on Economic and Social Affairs, UNEP; the UN Environment Programme, ICAO; The International Civil Aviation Organization, and IAEA; The International Atomic Energy Agency, is ongoing in terms of both facilitating their staff’s operational needs and bringing the various agencies’ expertise to the country. All of our UN week celebration activities are done in full participation with all agencies on the ground. Activities are organized around specially selected themes and involve staff members form all agencies to ensure various aspects of development are tackled.
UNDP collaborates with UNICEF on several projects, including the “Youth Development and Leadership Project”. It is initiated by the UNICEF Gulf Regional Office and UNDP Saudi Arabia Country Office, in partnership with youth national entities and in collaboration with international and regional leadership programmes. This unique project includes various activities aiming at the following objective: Strengthening the role of young males and females in the national development process and achieving the MDGs by developing their leadership capacities of and educating them about the importance and various methods of meaningful participation and empowerment. This project will, in the future, be duplicated in different regions of the kingdom.
One of the main activities in the project is to deliver a five-day training that targets undergraduates and fresh graduates with high ambitions and willpower to become highly effective leaders, consists of three workshops and a youth dialogue platform for prominent and active youth to run discussions. The project, which maintains a holistic approach towards self development, not only focuses on career development but also on directing youth towards a more comprehensive approach to growth. Thus, it will empower young Saudi males and females to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their field and acquire the necessary tools to become proactive people with the capabilities to revolutionize their role in the development of their country.
Five-Year Development Plans
The UNDP country programme is designed in a flexible manner that responds to the Kingdom’s evolving national development objectives as represented in the Five-Year Development Plans (ranging through 1970-1974, 1975-1979), concentrated on building the necessary infrastructure for the Kingdom’s development. Therefore, the UNDP designed its respective country programmes to aid the development of infrastructure, and the transfer of technology and knowledge to Saudi nationals. The third and fourth Five Year Development Plans, (1980-1984, 1985-1989), focused on the diversity of national income resources, the improvement of production sectors, and the protection of the environment and national resources, all of which were accounted for by the UNDP’s respective country programmes. Likewise, the fifth, sixth, and seventh country programmes , (1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004), were fully in line with the requirements of the country’s Development Plans. The most recent UNDP Country Programme for Saudi Arabia was formulated based on the national priorities. This has been reflected in the eighth national development plan, for the period (2005-2009).
In line with some of the national goals of the eighth plan which focuses on reducing poverty, raising standards of living, improving the quality of life for all, enhancing the role of women and youth in national development, optimizing the globalization benefits by improving the productivity of the economy, diversifying its base, and strengthening its competitiveness, and by strengthening the science and technology base and a solid research & development capacity, enhancing the performance of the public sector, as well as enhancing partnerships for development, UNDP Saudi Arabia has set several targets to be achieved:
In its Global Cooperation Framework, UNDP provides a range of services to governments and to United Nations country teams in the areas of Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction Strategies, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Environment and Sustainable Energy, HIV/AIDS. These are geared to engage in global advocacy and analysis to generate knowledge, alliance building and promotion of enabling frameworks on key issues, policy advice and support for national capacity building, and knowledge networking and sharing of good practices. The UNDP’s activities are divided into five categories called Practice Areas. They are: