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* UN assistance to Sri Lanka for next five years will focus on Mahinda Chintana development goals
Sat, Oct 6, 2012, 08:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 06, Colombo: In preparing the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the next five year period the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations Country Team have focused on the country's development goals.

The government and the UN country team in consultation with the UN agencies providing assistance have finalized the UNDAF for the period from 2013 - 2017 to provide a strategic direction to implement UN supported projects and programs.

The proposed country programme 2013-2017 aligns with the Sri Lankan government's Development Policy Framework Mahinda Chintana 2011-2016.

The UNDAF, which outlines concrete development objectives for UN agencies to achieve national development, is prepared to obtain financial and technical assistance from UN Agencies for the development priorities highlighted in the Mahinda Chintana.

The current UNDAF which was prepared for the period of 2008 - 2012 has mainly focused on humanitarian assistance, poverty reduction, peace building and emergency assistance.

After the end of the war in May 2009, the Sri Lankan government has focused on rebuilding the infrastructure neglected and destroyed during the three-decade long war and on uplifting the livelihoods of the people, especially in the North and East as a measure to alleviate poverty.

While acknowledging that Sri Lanka has made impressive progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is poised to meet the MDG targets before 2015, the policy framework also recognizes the significant challenges that remain to be addressed.

In order to achieve overall objective of the new framework for the next five years to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth with equitable access to quality social services and strengthen human capabilities the new UNDAF has identified four programme areas.

The next five-year program is integrated within the four pillars of the UNDAF 2013-2017 under the goal "Sustainable and inclusive economic growth with equitable access to quality social services, strengthened human capabilities and reconciliation for lasting peace".

The four areas the framework will focus on - Equitable economic growth and sustainable livelihood; Disparity reduction, equitable and quality social services; Governance, human rights, social inclusion and protection; and Environmental sustainability, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

This framework will be implemented through the Country Programme Action Plan of individual UN Agencies and monitored by the Sri Lankan government and UN country team. The UNDP country office, with strengthened programme management functions, will support the implementation of programs, and ensure efficient and effective delivery of development results.

The country program's estimated resource envelope is US$ 60 million, of which US$ 5.2 million will come from regular resources, while US$ 25.4 million in cost-sharing has already been mobilized. The remaining US$ 29.4 million will be mobilized from development partners, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Montreal Protocol and other trust funds.

The signing of the new UNDAF has taken place on Friday at the Ministry of Finance and Planning between the Secretary to the Ministry, Dr. P B Jayasundera and the representatives of each UN agencies.



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