Today, Friday 17 October, is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP). The day has been observed since 1993 following the declaration by the UN General Assembly in 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Today, through events to mark the day across the world, UNDP is reaffirming its continued commitment to work together with the local and national authorities and the civic societes in mobilizing the political will, financial resources and innovative policies needed to eradicate poverty in the world.

The prime objective of the UNDP is to help countries strengthen their national capacities in order to achieve sustainable development of the people by prioritising poverty eradication and creating an equal society. Through its own network of 132 offices in different countries of the world and through the global commitment known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UNDP is assisting the populations of 174 countries by implementing programmes for poverty eradication, ecologic regeneration, job creation and women empowerment in society.

To this end, here in the Maldives UNDP is assisting in reducing poverty by focusing on dimensions of poverty reduction such as economic and social inclusion and the empowerment of women. More recently, UNDP Maldives has been directing its focus to the lives of citizens in the more remote atolls and islands.

The geographical isolation and lack of opportunities there have inspired numerous initiatives such as the Atolls Development Programme which aims at good local governance and the empowerment of island communities.At the central level, UNDP Maldives is continuously providing policy advisory services to the Government and other stakeholders. In its current programme, UNDP is focusing on poverty monitoring and analysis, information and communication technology and economic development opportunities like pearl culture and hydroponics.UNDP Maldives has also taken a lead in environmental issues.

With funding from the Global Environment Facility, UNDP has been assisting Maldives to face its steep environmental challenges, develop appropriate policies and, as a focus country for issues of global warming, to effectively participate in the global environmental discussion.The MDGs have never been more relevant to the world and to the Maldives.

They reflect the multidimensional nature of poverty, which encompasses–in addition to low per capita income–illiteracy, gender inequality, health and environmental degradation. Today UNDP Maldives reaffirms its commitment to working towards achieving the overarching goal of balanced and equitable development through the reduction of disparities.

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