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EU, UNDP sign project agreement on cross-
border coordination in Horn of Africa   

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and the UN Development Program (UNDP) have signed an agreement for an integrated cross-border initiative to address drivers of conflict and instability between Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

With the 10 million U.S. dollars, the 3-year project was signed by Erik Habers, Head of Cooperation in the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, and Lamin Manneh, UNDP Director of Regional Service Center for Africa, according to a statement from UNDP on Wednesday.

The project will be implemented by the UNDP in collaboration with UN Environment (UNEP), in partnership with Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), supporting effective cooperation and coordination of cross border initiatives, according to  the UNDP.

It aims at strengthening regional policy frameworks, structures, and protocols for cross border cooperation between national and local governments as well as building capacities of communities, local governments and civil society to fully engage in processes for development planning.

Underpinned by initiatives on sustainable use of resources, it also aims to ensure effective cooperation and coordination, monitoring and evaluation of cross-border initiatives including involvement of relevant national and regional actors in the processes.

Violent conflict has been, and continues to be, a major obstacle to development in the Horn of Africa, distorting the overall sub-regional political environment, resulting in destruction of properties and displacement of people, and has eroded development gains, noted the statement.

The historic incidence of violent conflicts over access to natural resources such as pasture and water, is exacerbated by the impact of climate change and is becoming increasingly entwined with the spread of violent extremist ideology and its manifestations.

“The project is an integral part of a program addressing the underlying root causes which create fragility and hamper the development prospects in the region,” said Manneh of UNDP, “through investment in conflict prevention, cross border trade and private sector development, it is expected that livelihoods will be diversified and the management of shared natural resources will be improved.”

The initiative is also in line with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ push for a focus on prevention and strengthening the nexus between development, security and peace, said the statement.

The cross-border program builds on ongoing development initiatives in the area, and is engaging a wide range of stakeholders including civil society, private sector, faith-based organizations, peace committees, development partners and financial partners in development, said UNDP.



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