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Funds from 2010 Match against Poverty to support youth and women

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Geneva: Hundreds of youth in Haiti affected by the 2010 earthquake and more than 1,000 female entrepreneurs displaced by flooding in Pakistan are the direct beneficiaries of funds raised last December at the 2010 Match against Poverty, in Athens, Greece organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Some US$170,000 in proceeds from the match will support the reconstruction of sports centres for 400 youth in the Haitian cities of Port-au-Prince and Leogane. An equal amount will help up to 1,200 women-headed households of rural Muzaffargarh in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The Haiti-based project involves community members in cash-for-work to rehabilitate sports facilities. Through its different components, the projects targets groups that were affected by the 2010 earthquake and who still live in precarious conditions.

The project will be integrated into an ongoing programme that uses sports activities to promote conflict resolution, to reduce violence in vulnerable communities and to broadcast key messages against violence.

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is supporting this initiative by promoting the values of volunteering and civic engagement in the community.

“The Match funds will be used to complement our ongoing efforts to include youth in our activities in affected and damaged neighbourhoods where we are already working to facilitate return of people displaced by the earthquake,” said Jessica Faieta, UNDP Haiti Senior Country Director.

The Pakistan-based project aims to achieve a 30 percent increase in income and assets of vulnerable women in Muzaffargarh District by providing them with cash subsidies and training to start or build up small businesses. The region, in Punjab province, was one of the most severely impacted by the deadly floods last year.

The home-based enterprises are expected to include crop production, storage and marketing, dairy farming, livestock production and trading, grocery shops, embroidery centres and agriculture supply stores.

The worst floods in the history of Pakistan affected an estimated 18 million people and destroyed homes, farmland, health clinics, power stations, roads and water supply systems.

“The initiative is helping women to organize themselves into groups and to establish home based businesses to create sources of additional income and to generate productive assets for the households,” said Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Pakistan Country Director.

“Though the amount is modest, using it to promote community enterprise development will ensure every penny is targeted for maximum impact in restoring the livelihoods of vulnerable households affected by floods.” In submitting proposals, UNDP country offices were required to present projects aimed at vulnerable groups and focused on one or several areas related to the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG): Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The projects also need to have a quick and visible impact with measurable results.

The MDGs are eight internationally agreed anti-poverty goals to be achieved by 2015, ranging from improving women’s and children’s health to reducing hunger and disease.

For more information, contact:
Mehreen Saeed
Communication Analyst
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan
4rth Floor, Serena Office Complex, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8355650
Fax: +92-51-2655014-15


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