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 UNDP in Belarus 

UNDP is present in Belarus since 1992. The UNDP Resident Representative acts as the UN Resident Coordinator, representing the entire UN system and leading the UN Country Team in Belarus, which is comprised of 11 UN agencies, funds and programmes (UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNAIDS, WHO, UNFPA, World Bank, IFC, IMF, ILO, UNDPI). UN Country Team agencies work closely together implementing joint projects and undertaking various multi-sectoral and crosscutting programmes and advocacy activities.

UNDP is a principal provider of the whole range of administrative and substantive services to the UN system organizations based at the country level and outside Belarus.

UNDP’s mandate in Belarus is determined by the Agreement between the Government of Belarus and UNDP of 24 September 1992, which requires UNDP “to support and supplement the national efforts at solving the most important problems of its economic development and to promote social progress and better standards of life” .

UNDP activities in Belarus are guided by a Country Programme Document for the period 2011-2015 prepared with extensive consultations with key partners in the government, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system, and the international community.

Programme implementation falls into four main thematic areas:

1) Economic Development and Social Security;
2) Energy and Environment;
3) HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis;
4) Effective and Accountable Governance and Human Security.

Throughout its work in any thematic area, UNDP puts a particular emphasis on respect for human rights and promotion of gender equality (i.e. equality of men and women).

The basic modality of UNDP’s assistance to Belarus is the project.

The project is a sequence of activities to achieve a set of immediate objectives formulated to contribute to the achievement of a broader national development objective. The project is implemented on the basis of the project document – legally binding agreement between UNDP and other partners, delineating the plan for achieving the objectives and the means to evaluate their achievement. The project document also specifies the indicators by which progress or setbacks are to be assessed, the resources that are needed and the management arrangements. In Belarus the project document is to be signed by the UNDP Resident Representative, Minister of Economy and head of implementing agency (it can be either a governmental entity or an NGO).

As soon as project document is approved and funds are allocated, UNDP contracts (on the competitive basis) the project manager – a person in charge of project implementation. The project manager acts in accordance with UNDP rules and procedures under the supervision of the national coordinator – designated senior representative of the implementing agency. As soon as the project is completed, UNDP reports to the government and donors on its results.

UNDP works to produce concrete and measurable results. It also works to ensure that the individuals, institutions and systems assisted by UNDP continue to function effectively after external support ceases and, in fact, have the capacity to improve continuously their ways of working.

All UNDP programmes and projects are nationally owned and entail the commitment of national human and financial resources. An essential strategy of the UNDP Office in Belarus is to engage key government officials and other stakeholders in a dialogue on the policy framework for national development. The purpose of this dialogue is to analyze problems and encourage the articulation of a national programme where one does not exist, and to identify the consultative process that will be followed in deciding what support UNDP should provide in the chosen programme area.

The government is a principal UNDP partner in Belarus. It provides cost sharing to a number of UNDP projects. The majority of on-going UNDP projects have the ministries, state committees and state-run universities as implementing agencies. The focal points for cooperation with UNDP within Belarus’ government are the Ministry of Economy (technical cooperation) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (other issues).

Central to the approach UNDP uses in Belarus is foster partnerships among civil society and government, and to build the capacity of civil society to address the development issues faced by the country. Civil society organizations have been traditional partners for UNDP in project implementation in those spheres, where they have comparative advantages, and are involved to some degree with all projects. International NGOs have also been important donors to UNDP programme.

UNDP would never be able to provide sufficient assistance to Belarus without donor support. UNDP projects in Belarus are co-financed by several different donors, including UN system agencies (UNAIDS, WHO, etc.), multilateral international institutions and funds (European Union, OSCE, GEF, GFATM, etc.), governments (Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, etc.), and international and foreign NGOs (European Business Congress, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, etc.).

Cost sharing is a method by which donors contribute funds to individual UNDP programmes and projects. The standard cost-sharing agreement constitutes the legal agreement between a donor and the UNDP. UNDP administers donor contributions for implementing projects and ensures the proper auditing of project finances and reporting of project results.

In 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was the largest donor for the UNDP. It provided funding for several projects in the area of healthcare. Within the framework of the GFATM grants activities are still conducted to prevent the spread of AIDS/HIV in the country, and a modern system of efficient diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis is being developed. Belarus receives large amounts of international technical assistance from the European Union as well. UNDP and the EU have implemented a number of joint projects aimed at further strengthening the infrastructure of Belarus borders to fight against international terrorism, trafficking in drugs and human beings and illegal migration. 60 local initiatives in the field of healthcare, energy efficiency, sports and human security were implemented under the EU-funded project on area-based development of the Chernobyl affected regions. Using the funds of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), UNDP implements projects that aim to improve the energy efficiency of enterprises in the state sector of the Belarusian economy, to create conditions for the sustainable operation of the wetlands system, to integrate biodiversity conservation issues in the policy and practice of land use planning.


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