Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:22 - Updated Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:24
UN releases USD 106 million for socio-economic sector
Luanda - The United Nations will invest a total of 106 million US dollars in the social and economic projects of Angola until 2021, said Tuesday here the outgoing UN resident coordinator in the country, Paolo Balladelli.
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UN Resident coordinator, Paolo Balladelli
Photo: Francisco Miudo
The organization intends to invest approximately 53 million US dollars per year, Balladelli said.
The UN official, who was speaking to Angola Public Television (TPA), said this is a "small" but important quota to help solve the country's development challenges.
Balladelli, who is at the end of his term in office after nine years and three months ahead of the UN System in Angola, said that the country needs billions of dollars to solve the major problems, and the world organization will continue to support.
Without specifying which projects to benefit, he said the 106 million dollars will help implement government, academic and civil society programmes.
Paolo Balladelli also said the UN agencies are promoting various initiatives to support the Angolan authorities, in the social and economic areas, with focus on projects to support the Covid-19 combat and prevention programme.
The UN official suggested to the Government to create strong partnerships with UN bodies and civil society to rapidly stop the proliferation of Covid-19.
It is crucial for the Angolan state to rapidly increase the availability of drinking water for the population, especially in the most deprived areas, in Luanda and outside the capital, he said.
Meanwhile, Balladelli praised the Angolan government's measures to prevent and combat the pandemic, particularly the timely adoption of the State of Emergency, which allowed the postponement of the spread of the new coronavirus and prepare material conditions for the most critical phase.
The UN official also praised the country for the implementation of the mandatory wearing of masks, considering it a fundamental measure to combat Covid-19.
However, he said that more work is needed to raise awareness among young people, advising the government to be creative and innovative to lead young people to comply with the guidelines of the health authorities.
Paolo Balladelli announced that the UN agencies expect to mobilize USD 36 million to support Angola in this fight during the next 18 months.
For this year, he said, five million dollars have already been raised to provide immediate responses to the needs of combating the pandemic, with the other 31 million dollars to be raised through UN agencies in New York and bilateral partners.
In the social field, Balladelli said, the UN has been supporting the ongoing Social Cash Transfers programme in the country with European Union resources.
As for the economic sector, he highlighted the launch this year of the Acceleration Plan for Agriculture and Fisheries, which will benefit three million Angolan families.
He also spoke of the need for Angola to work to improve access to health services, avoiding major endemic diseases such as malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other chronic diseases such as diabetes, areas in which he said there was "strong investment" by the UN.
Paolo Balladelli said the UN agencies have also invested in agriculture, stressing that Angola has great challenges regarding the professionalization of young people, combating domestic violence and women's empowerment.
From his point of view, another pressing challenge for the country has to do with social cohesion, which involves improving the efficiency and transparency of the state activities.
Angola can become an economic engine for Africa, so its political leadership is fundamental for the continent, Balladelli said.
Paolo Balladelli, of Italian nationality, holds a Doctorate in Medicine with the degree of Specialist in Public Health from the University of Bologna, Italy.
He is a candidate for a PhD in Political Science at the Catholic University of Argentina.
Since 2011, he has held the position of Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Angola. Prior to this mission, he was WHO Representative in Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia, and Croatia. He was the Regional Coordinator for WHO's emergency response to the Syrian crisis, residing in Jordan, and worked in the WHO-Geneva emergency office.
Previously, he worked with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based in Uganda, as Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region (Africa). Between 1984 and 2000, he coordinated development programmes in Ecuador and Bolivia.
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