Economic Development

woman with solar panel

A mother of three children, Laiku Lama worked as a farmer in the mountainous district of Humla, one of the most isolated and underdeveloped regions in Nepal. In 2018, she left her family to board a plane for the first time in her life. After six months studying in India, she literally enlightened her village upon her return: as a newly certified solar technician, she installed solar home lighting in 220 houses, benefitting over 2,100 people. Laiku was one of three Lama women who became so-called Solar Mamas, thanks to a South-South cooperation initiative.

A tractor harvesting a wheat field

The war in Ukraine has dealt a major shock to commodity markets, altering global patterns of trade, production, and consumption in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels through the end of 2024, according to the World Bank’s latest report. The increase in energy prices over the past two years has been the largest since the 1973 oil crisis. Price increases for food commodities—of which Russia and Ukraine are large producers—and fertilizers, which rely on natural gas as a production input, have been the largest since 2008.

The Blue Connection film tells an inspiring story of unity, support, and multilateral collaboration between three countries - Barbados, Belize, and Costa Rica - and their collective efforts to sustainably develop their coastal communities in the wake of the global pandemic. The story shares an intimate perspective of the daily lives and challenges faced by people working in the blue economy through an UNCTAD  project.

Children sit or lay drawing on a mat outdoors

There may be no universal understanding of creativity. The concept is open to interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development. Nonetheless, creativity and culture also contribute as a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. Therefore, the United Nations designated 21 April as World Creativity and Innovation Day (21 April) to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.

workers stand around solar panels

Consensus on the need to build a greener economy often founders on concern over potential job losses. The change can be difficult. The IMF proposes a mix of policies to ease the pain of workers.

Squiggly lines of different colours represent profiles of people.

COVID-19 provided a convenient excuse for bigotry as the world witnessed xenophobic attacks against people of Asian descent. At the same time, racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups suffered the greatest harm from the pandemic, due to higher infection rates and deeper economic distress. The recovery also has been marred by an imbalance of power that has left poor countries unable to vaccinate their populations. Therefore, UNDP puts great focus on ending inequality and exclusion.

A man stops a series of blocks falling, stopping the domino effect

The war in Ukraine could not have come at a worse time for the global economy—when the recovery from the pandemic-induced contraction had begun to falter. The World Bank explains how the Ukraine crisis could make it harder for many low- and middle-income economies to regain their footing.  Besides higher commodity prices, the fallout is likely to arrive through several other vectors, including trade shocks. Countries closest to the conflict-due to trade and other links-are likely to suffer the greatest immediate harm. But the effects could ripple far beyond.

The cover of the report.

The World Bank World Development Report 2022: Finance for an Equitable Recovery, examines the central role of finance in the economic recovery from the pandemic.

riot police

The forum (7-15 March), offers a platform for the global community to gather and gauge the way it has been responding to fragility, conflict, and violence over the past decade and how to move forward.

Geraldo Basilua (left) with a trainee in Cuanza Norte Province, Angola.

After undergoing training provided by UNCTAD, Geraldo Basilua now runs a formally registered business providing agribusiness training and consulting that has increased his income 20-fold.

a father at a refugee camp throws his son in the air

UNDP’s new Strategic Plan recognizes the complexity of the development landscape and the challenges we face as a global community. It sets out our vision for a future-smart UNDP, working with partners to create a world where people and planet thrive together.

people on a street

After rebounding in 2021, global growth is expected to decelerate markedly in 2022, reflecting continued COVID-19 flare-ups, diminished fiscal support, and lingering supply bottlenecks.

drawing of white board with sign NEW YEAR, NEW PLAN

As the new year opens, the world is battling a global pandemic and confronting a planetary emergency. Both COVID-19 and climate change are contributing to rising inequality, conflict and fragility around the world. These interconnected challenges require integrated solutions. In 2022, UNDP puts its new Strategic Plan into action, grounded in our commitment to eradicating poverty and helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Here are some key moments to watch in the year ahead.

A garment worker wearing a face mask

Has the global economy recovered from COVID-19? Will prices continue to rise? When will the jobs come back? Find out at the launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2022 report on 13 January (12 pm EST). It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects. After a strong recovery in 2021, global growth momentum seems to be losing steam and higher levels of inequality could emerge as a longer-term scar of the pandemic. The report calls for better targeted policy and financial measures.

Cubes representing the SDGs with a ribbon on top by a Christmas tree.

Sustainability goes beyond the environment; it includes other things that people need towards quality of life. FAO suggests what you can do to make this holiday sustainable, merry and bright.