24 Feb 2016 Press release Sustainable Development Goals

UN Development Programme Celebrates 50 Years of Work to End Poverty

Nairobi, 24 February 2016 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) celebrates today 50 years of working on the frontlines of global development.

In his Facebook post, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner congratulated UNDP on its 50 years of work to end poverty and highlighted the many collaborative initiatives of the two sister agencies. "Today UNEP's sister agency the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP celebrates 50 years of working to end poverty. The last half-century has seen dramatic advancements in poverty reduction, economic opportunity and social inclusivity. In almost 170 countries, UNDP has played an important role in these positive changes. UNEP and UNDP have a long history of collaboration, such as with The Poverty-Environment Initiative, the UN-Redd Programme (FAO/UNDP/UNEP) and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, and we look forward to continuing to cooperate on efforts for sustainable and inclusive development," he said.

According to the most recent UNDP Human Development Report, between 1990 and 2015 the child mortality rate fell by more than half, over 2.6 billion people gained access to an improved source of drinking water, and 2.1 billion to improved sanitation facilities, even as the world's population rose from 5.3 billion to 7.3 billion.

Despite this impressive progress much remains to be done. Almost a billion people still live in poverty, and nearly 800 million suffer from chronic hunger. Every minute almost a dozen children under five die, and every hour we lose 33 mothers in child-birth. Billions of people lack access to safe water and basic sanitation. Nearly 800 million adults are still illiterate.

UNEP and UNDP have partnered on a number of initiatives to overcome these challenges and to realize the universal Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its ultimate goal of ending poverty.

Through the Poverty Environment Initiative the two agencies are helping countries to integrate poverty environment linkages into national and sub-national development planning.

Cooperating within the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), they facilitate the transition to inclusive green economies with policies that help societies and economies grow, while maintaining the ecological foundations underpinning their development.

Working together on the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD) they assist developing countries in protecting their forests while contributing to the global fight against climate change.