SDF and UNDP to jointly im­ple­ment projects in the SAARC re­gions

Bhutan Times - - Home - Rinzin Lhamo

SAARC De­vel­op­ment Fund (SDF) and United Na­tion De­vel­op­ment Fund ( UNDP) have agreed to col­lab­o­rate in or­der to im­ple­ment the projects in the SAARC Re­gion The first one be­ing the eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment of women through en­ergy ac­cess in moun­tain coun­tries of South Asia.

The ob­jec­tive of this project is to em­power women in the moun­tain­ous re­gions of South Asia (specif­i­cally in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pak­istan) through ac­cess to sus­tain­able en­ergy ser­vices to con­trib­ute to­wards achiev­ing the goals of eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment of women while si­mul­ta­ne­ously tar­get­ing bet­ter health, and gen­der equal­ity.

Clean en­ergy ser­vices for elec­tri­cal, ther­mal and me­chan­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions will cat­alyze liveli­hood ac­tiv­i­ties to re­duce poverty and im­prove qual­ity of life among women, and thus em­pow­er­ing them eco­nom­i­cally.

The project’s fo­cus is to go be­yond pro­vid­ing ac­cess to sus­tain­able, re­li­able and af­ford­able mod­ern en­ergy ser­vices for cook­ing, heat­ing, il­lumi- na­tion, and me­chan­i­cal power for water pump­ing, and to re­duce time poverty for women, through ac­cess to more ef­fi­cient, re­new­able en­ergy ser­vices, which will al­low them to par­tic­i­pate in eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties that em­power; en­hance women’s role in the en­ergy sup­ply chain as en­ergy end-users (at house­hold and at en­ter­prise lev­els) as well as en­ergy sup­pli­ers; and pro­mote women’s health for in­stance by link­ing them with clean cook­ing en­ergy tech­nolo­gies and ac­cess to bet­ter health ser­vice cen­ters.

Dr. Su­nil Moti­wal, CEO, SDF said, “Both the or­ga­ni­za­tions have al­ready signed MoU in 2015 in or­der to pro­vide strate­gic growth to the SAARC Re­gion which is a key goal in col­lab­o­ra­tion to ad­vance the 2030 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Agenda in the re­gion. We are look­ing for­ward to work closely with UNDP in or­der achieve our mu­tual strate­gic goals.”

SDF has com­mit­ted USD 3,101,763.00 for 50% of the to­tal bud­get of USD 6,203,525.00 in the form of fi­nan­cial co-fund­ing. The project is aimed to tar­get 11,840 house­holds, 50 women en­trepreneurs & 500 com­mu­nity mem- bers as di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries and 121,317 per­sons & 150 women en­trepreneurs as in­di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

The project is ex­pected to con­trib­ute to the fol­low­ing im­pacts on gen­der equal­ity by demon­strat­ing En­er­gyPlus in­no­va­tions through com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion; strengthen women’s role in moun­tain­ous ar­eas, in the en­ergy sup­ply chain as en­ergy users (at house­hold and en­ter­prise level) as well as en­ergy sup­pli­ers; pro­mote women’s health by link­ing them with clean en­ergy tech­nolo­gies/fu­els and ac­cess to bet­ter health ser­vice cen­ters and de­velop ini­tia­tives that are in­clu­sive and in­te­grate with the re­gion’s gen­der and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes.

The sec­ond project is on sup­port to value chain de­vel­op­ment, en­trepreneur­ship and skill de­vel­op­ment and im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity’s. This is a unique and in­no­va­tive project which adopts a re­gional ap­proach to en­hance eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for MSMEs through value chain de­vel­op­ment, en­trepreneur­ship & skill build­ing in Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia, Nepal, Pak­istan and Sri Lanka. In and across six SAARC Mem­ber Coun­tries UNDP coun­try of­fices will work to­gether closely on re­mov­ing bot­tle­necks and bar­ri­ers for vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tion to in­crease their ac­cess to so­cial pro­tec­tion, fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment and skill build­ing. More specif­i­cally, the project will aim to achieve and en­hance ca­pac­ity of vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties specif­i­cally eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially marginal­ized groups in the re­gion to en­able them to ben­e­fit from in­creased trade and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties; De­velop core eco­nomic niches in spe­cific re­gions of SAARC coun­tries through the de­vel­op­ment of value chains for prod­ucts, goods and ser­vices among SAARC Coun­tries; pro­vid­ing cus­tom­ized train­ing on en­trepreneur­ship, skill de­vel­op­ment, ex­port fa­cil­i­ta­tion to MSME in the re­gion and sup­port to ex­ist­ing and po­ten­tial en­trepreneurs in ar­eas of ac­cess to fi­nance, in­no­va­tion in­cu­ba­tion, sourc­ing of raw ma­te­ri­als, tech­nol­ogy up gra­da­tion, and prod­uct & mar­ket di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion.

SDF has com­mit­ted USD 7,835,000.00 for 50% of the to­tal bud­get of USD 15,670,000.00 in the form of fi­nan­cial co-fund­ing. The project is aimed to tar­get 163,400 per­sons as di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the com­po­nents of so­cial pro­tec­tion, fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, SME ex­port ca­pac­ity strength­en­ing and mar­ket im­prove­ment (un­der so­cial and eco­nomic pro­gramme) and at least 0.5 mil­lion peo­ple as the in­di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

The project will as­sist to im­ple­ment the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and achieve the fol­low­ing tar­gets of end­ing the poverty in all its forms ev­ery­where, en­sure sig­nif­i­cant mo­bi­liza­tion of re­sources from a va­ri­ety of sources, cre­ate sound pol­icy frame­works at the na­tional, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els, based on pro-poor and gen­der-sen­si­tive de­vel­op­ment strate­gies, to sup­port ac­cel­er­ated in­vest­ment in poverty erad­i­ca­tion ac­tions, pro­mote sus­tained, in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth, full and productive em­ploy­ment and de­cent work for all, build re­silient in­fra­struc­ture, pro­mote in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and fos­ter in­no­va­tion and re­duce inequal­ity within and among coun­tries

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