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United Nations Development Programme

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme works globally to reduce poverty, preserve energy resources and the environment, combat AIDS, and promote communications technology. It has also undertaken the key tasks of promoting democracy, building peace, and preventing disasters whenever possible.

Because so many countries are faced with violent conflicts or recurrent natural disasters that can erase decades of development and further entrench poverty, UNDP supports fresh approaches to crisis prevention and conflict resolution. It assists in co-ordinating international humanitarian assistance and bridging the gap between emergency relief efforts and long-term development.

In April 1997, The United Nations Development Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees agreed to co-operate in five principal areas, mobilising national and international assistance:

improving the capacity to detect significant population movements, thereby permitting a timely response to an emerging crisis in both the country of origin and in those countries where the refugees may seek asylum;

handling problems caused by large inflows of refugees on the host country or area and taking into account their impact on local economic, social and environmental resources;

promoting at the community level post-conflict recovery, peace building and reconciliation in war-torn countries with a large displaced population;

providing basic services and economic opportunities to support the reintegration of the returnees and strengthening their ties with local communities;

fostering an early phase-out of humanitarian assistance in favour of sustainable basic services and local development in areas that have suffered severe damage and dislocation resulting from conflict.

In another example of co-operation, the UNDP Country Office currently represents UNHCR in ten countries with small refugee populations.