The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations' global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It was established in 1966 and has since helped people all over the world build nations that can withstand crisis while improving and sustaining growth and quality of life.
The UNDP has agents on the ground in 177 countries, working on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As these countries develop the local capacity to solve their unique issues, they draw on the people of UNDP and its wide range of partners for assistance.
In February 2012, Israel was granted its first ever seat on the executive board of UNDP. “This is a milestone in Israel’s integration to the global agenda of the UN,” said Israel's Deputy Permanent Representative Haim Waxman. “Furthermore, this is the expression of a journey that we have taken from being a developing nation born in adversity to becoming a developed nation, a member of the OECD and now a full member of the UNDP."
Waheed Borsh, an 38-year old engineer who had worked for the UNDP since 2003, was arrested on July 16, 2016, and charged in August with providing aid to the Hamas islamist terror movement. The suspect confessed to diverting 300 tons of rubble and cement from a UNDP program to a Hamas naval project, and encouraging UNDP inspectors to focus rebuilding efforts following Protective Edge on areas where Hamas officials lived. During April and May 2015, Borsh helped build a naval commando port for Hamas. The UNDP issued a statement claiming that they were “greatly concerned” about the situation, and would conduct a “thorough internal review of the processes and circumstances surrounding the allegation.” Borsh was sentenced to 7 months in prison on January 4, 2017, after being convicted of aiding the Hamas terror organization.
An internal United Nations audit of the UNDP, released on August 10, 2016, included shocking revelations pertaining to the work done by the group. The audit found that UNDP officials allowed non-staff employees to handle “core procurement procedures,” and that staff improperly recorded expenditures and reciepts within the organization's financial system. The UNDP also failed to set up an electronic funds transfer system with local banks that would have notified officials of unnauthorized bank transactions taking place. The performance of necessary positions suffered from “critical lapses,”allowing funds and physical aid to be siphoned for Hamas military projects, the report concluded. To read this internal audit, click here.
UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; environment and sustainable development.
The following is a statistical overview of UNDP:
- 128 countries receiving support for democratic governance
- 103 countries receiving support for anti-corruption efforts
- 60 countries receiving election assistance
- 60% of municipalities in Jordan are now using a UNDP-created property tax collection system
- 1.2 million people benefited from UNDP temporary job programmes in Haiti
- 250,000 people in Armenia benefited water, sanitation, microfinance and other UNDP programmes
- 150,000 people in Liberia received counseling and treatment for HIV & AIDS with UNDP help
- $550 million in interest savings for Jamaica after UNDP helped negotiate with creditors
- 6 million square metres of land cleared in Cambodia with UNDP support
- 95% of UNDP's partners consider the organization to be a "critical partner" in contributing to the MDG
Sources: UN Development Programme