The United Nations (UN) on Friday launched a new programme in Guyana, which supports the achievement of national development priorities across the Caribbean.
This new initiative is called the Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF) and it replaces the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
The 2017-2021 MSDF defines how the agencies, funds and programmes of the UN will pool their comparative advantages within a single strategic framework that aligns with, and supports the overarching strategic goals of the Caribbean governments and key stakeholders.
Guyana is the first country in the Caribbean to launch this programme, which provides a platform for countries to access the global expertise and experience of the UN System at both the country and sub-regional levels.
UN Country Representative Mikiko Tanaka explained that the programme will be executed on the basis of four pillars, being “an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Guyana; a safe cohesive and just Guyana; a healthy Guyana; and a sustainable and resilient Guyana.”
Tanaka explained that part of the initiative would focus on the challenges facing the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised groups of people and find ways to enable them access to opportunities and services to expand and fulfil their life’s potential and to lead a life of dignity.
These groups include families living in poverty; adolescents and single mothers; disadvantaged children and youth; Indigenous people; persons living with HIV/AIDS; disabled persons, elderlies; the LGBT; victims of abuse, violence and trafficking.
The starting budget of the programme is pegged at US$197.9 million and covers the entire Caribbean, where 18 territories will benefit.
Unlike the previous programme, this new model will work together with regional organisations like the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to tackle common regional issues.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who signed onto the programme on behalf of the Government, explained how Guyana stands to benefit.
“The Cooperative Republic of Guyana will be poised to reap the benefits of the combined ideas, skills, capacities and institutional experiences to be provided by the UN family and the Caribbean region,” he explained.
The Finance Minister acknowledged that the overall goal of this development framework is to provide Member States with the requisite tools, partnerships and resources needed to achieve national and sub-regional priorities in an inclusive and equitable manner.
In the case of Guyana, he noted that President David Granger has identified some SDGs which it deems to be most critical to create the enabling environment to achieve the social and economic development.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, speaking in the capacity of acting President, underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between Guyana and international organisations such as the UN.
Nagamootoo also pledged his Government’s commitment to work with the UN to deliver results for all the people of Guyana.