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Development Account Projects

Strengthening capacities in countries with special needs on designing and implementing economic and social development policies to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals


Despite some very serious challenges, the Asia and the Pacific region as a whole has achieved high rates of economic growth and overall development during the last decade, but continues to show deep social, ecological and economic imbalances. While some countries have good prospects of reaching the 2015 Millennium Development Goals targets, there are many which are either making slow progress or regressing. These development gaps or development deficits are most pronounced in the case of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, including those in Central Asia, and small island developing States. Known as the countries with special needs, those countries are the weakest links in the region’s aspiration to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. The low capacity of those countries to address the impact of the imbalances has increased their vulnerability and continues to undermine their economic and social development. In particular, progress towards reducing poverty and hunger and achieving other Millennium Development Goals has been significantly slowed.
Recent ESCAP studies have identified a two-pronged strategy for accelerating the progress of countries with special needs towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. First, promote growth in a more inclusive manner, which would increase the per capita household income of the poor and would speed up poverty alleviation (that goal can be achieved by promoting the transformation of their productive capacity, creating jobs, boosting agricultural production and strengthening social protection); and secondly, to mobilize national and regional resources to finance the investment required to reach the other Millennium Development Goals, including through public-private partnership, reorienting public expenditure, augmenting Government revenue and making fiscal incentives Millennium Development Goals-friendly.
ESCAP will implement the project in collaboration with ECE, UNDP, other United Nations agencies and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “Delivering as one” (i.e., effectively exploiting the synergy between expertise and experience of various United Nations agencies and ADB in providing assistance to countries with special needs) will be the guiding principle behind the implementation strategy of the project. The project will also build on the existing regional coordination mechanism being chaired by the Executive Secretary of ESCAP to coordinate work with the regional offices of other United Nations agencies.


To strengthen national capacities in countries , including those with special needs, to develop and implement economic and social policies and programmes to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs through cross-sectoral approach

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased awareness and interest of policymakers and other stakeholders in the countries with special needs to design and implement cross-sectoral policies to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.

  • Increased capacity of key national stakeholders in the countries with special needs to develop, implement and strengthen partnerships and build coalition of support among key stakeholders for accelerating the progress towards the MDGs.

Implementation status:

In progress.