UNDP Identifies Social Inclusion, Climate and Governance as Asia-Pacific’s Biggest Challenges

UNDPJuly 2013: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has released a report outlining results of its work from 2008-2012 in the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting the need to continue addressing social inclusion, climate impacts and governance issues. 

Introducing the report, titled 'Leveraging Change for Better Lives: UNDP in Asia and the Pacific,' Ajay Chibber, UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, commented that, while annual growth in human development has been higher for the Asia-Pacific than any other region, income, social and gender disparities continue to pose critical development challenges.

The report says that the region has already reached the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty by 2015, and that eight countries of the 37 in the region moved from low to middle income status between 2000 and 2011. It argues that Asian countries reaching middle-income status need to prioritize the quality of growth, curb inequalities, create jobs for the most disadvantaged, and increase their control over assets. It positions actions to address climate change as being crucial to sustaining economic growth, highlighting UNDP's support for countries to adopt more resilient and low-emission practices in manufacturing, agriculture and power generation.

The report presents UNDP's programme spending of US$5.7 billion over five years, of which 54% was spent in Afghanistan on democratic governance, crisis prevention and post-crisis recovery programmes, and 83% was spent in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Maps and charts in the report provide relative comparisons of Asia-Pacific countries by income, gender inequality, UNDP programme spending, and carbon emission savings, as well as other aspects of development. [Publication: Leveraging Change for Better Lives: UNDP in Asia and the Pacific] [UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre website]