UNDP’s partnership with SIDS
UNDP’s long-standing, wide-ranging partnership with SIDS has an estimated annual value of US$466 million. We work with SIDS to advance their national development priorities, respond to diverse challenges, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Our strong presence in the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea draws from a network of 9 multi-country offices and 13 stand-alone country offices that reach 50 SIDS.
COVID-19 is more than a health crisis for these nations. It is a crisis of development. In response, UNDP has developed Rising Up for SIDS, an offer of support focusing on the greatest prospects for long-term recovery and sustainable development, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The offer responds to the ambitions and demands SIDS expressed during the 2019 midterm review of the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway. It includes measures strengthening UNDP’s programmatic engagement, increasing our ability to respond to urgent challenges and enhancing organizational agility.
Embedded within UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021, the offer identifies transformative levers for advancing sustainable development based on national demand and needs and taking the global crisis into account. It builds on UNDP’s mandated role in the UN development system to serve as a platform for integrated support to countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda. The offer presents tailored, multidimensional, and human-centred development solutions.
From vulnerabilities to transformative opportunities
Development challenges faced by SIDS include structural constraints, such as a lack of economic diversification; a need for social protection and inclusion; fiscal limitations and heavy indebtedness; and barriers to full integration into the global economy. Compounding effects triggered by the pandemic mean SIDS economies have experienced an estimated loss of US $1.3 trillion in global inbound tourism expenditure in 2020.1 The reversal stems from the reduction of remittances, disappearing tourism demand, reduced fishing and the limited borrowing options for foreign currency. Since SIDS rely heavily on food and energy imports, disrupted global value chains will likely increase food and energy insecurity.
SIDS vulnerabilities to climate change are some of the most acute in the world. The risks encompass intensified extreme weather events, rising sea levels and ocean acidification. Climate fallout is amplified by the degradation and depletion of natural capital that sustains livelihoods and ecosystem services, among other essential benefits.
Despite their challenges, SIDS have strong potential to overcome their vulnerabilities and accelerate, even pioneer, paths to sustainable development. Much depends on investing in people, as the greatest resource in SIDS, and in line with the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway and 2030 Agenda.
With their small sizes, SIDS can emerge as innovation incubators and microcosms for new technological solutions or innovative nature-based solutions that may be widely replicated. Holding nearly 20 percent of the world’s offshore exclusive economic zones, SIDS are ‘large ocean States’ that can define the future of the blue economy. UNDP, as a key development partner, in the past and into the future, is committed to supporting SIDS in pursuing their aspirations for transformational change and global action.
Genuine and durable partnerships for SIDS
Leveraging and scaling up existing partnerships as well as engaging in new ones is fundamental to UNDP’s ambitions to provide scaled-up support to SIDS. Genuine and durable partnerships can catalyse transformative potential across the three pillars of our offer. UNDP works with a wide range of United Nations, intergovernmental, NGO, bilateral and multilateral, private sector and philanthropic partners in SIDS, and will continue to serve as a strong advocate for SIDS on the global stage.