Our Perspective

      • Drought is Life or Death Issue in Horn Of Africa | Helen Clark

        13 Jul 2011


        According to the latest reports by the World Food Programme, some 10 million people are affected by the Horn of Africa's worst drought in 60 years.  An estimated 3,000 people a day are arriving in Kenya and Ethiopia from Somalia seeking help.  People are arriving in a very weak condition and it is very distressing to hear of the fatalities this severe hardship is causing.   Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, has just been to Mogadishu and also to the refugee camp at Dollo in Ethiopia – both places where drought victims are heading.  UNHCR chief, Antonio Guterres, has also been to the Somali refugee camps and called for urgent help for the drought victims. My overwhelming concern right now is that people are dying because of the drought, particularly those who must leave their land and their homes to walk long distances, in a weakened condition, to try to find food and water.  Many Somalis are crossing borders to do that.  Sheer survival is a battle for many families right now. Looking ahead, more support is needed to develop drought-resistant agriculture and small holder farming in the areas affected.  As there has been insufficient support for  Read More

      • Opportunities for economic and political inclusion in the Arab Spring

        08 Jun 2011

        Working together to build inclusive development in Egypt. Photo: UNDP Egypt

        There are moments when historic, transformational change is possible. This is one of those moments in the Arab States. In recent months, millions of people came onto the streets in a number of Arab states demanding change. Read UNDP Chief Helen Clark's recent article on the Arab Spring at the Huffington Post. In Tunisia and Egypt, these uprisings led to the downfall of regimes. Elsewhere, many lives have also been lost as regimes and their opponents have faced off against each other. Underlying these events are economic exclusion which has denied decent work and opportunity for many, and political exclusion which has denied a broad right to participate in the decision-making processes which shape nations’ futures. Now that broad-based popular movements are forcing political change, opportunities exist to build more inclusive societies, economies, and governance systems. To ensure peaceful transitions, advancing both economic and political inclusion is crucial. So often, impressive rates of economic growth have not led to significant reductions in poverty or the creation of decent work. To achieve inclusive growth, the sectors and regions where poor people live and work will need to be targeted. Support must be given to the formal multi-party national dialogue process, encouraging citizens  Read More