“Spain is firmly committed to a United Nations system that works more efficiently for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Miguel Ángel Moratinos on behalf of H.E. Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. “With this new expanded Delivering as One funding window, we are addressing the need for additional financing, while contributing to improve the predictability of aid flows. This funding will help support collaborative and joint UN activities and programmes to take better advantage of the diverse strengths within the UN system to support developing countries in addressing the complex challenges facing them.”
The commitments announced, which are expected to reach $400 million with contributions from other interested donors, will further improve predictability in funding for developing countries and UN country teams alike. It will increase total resources available for the UN’s work in education, agricultural development, culture, combating climate change, creating greater opportunities for women, and meeting the needs of children and young people. UN agencies working better together will help ensure that UN-managed aid will reach the people who need it most, and increase the impact of funding for the MDGs.
This expanded window of funding is an extension and builds on the success of the existing Government of Spain’s $710 million MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F), launched in December 2006. The Fund, managed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and available to all UN agencies, was set-up to accelerate progress to reach the MDGs, while supporting innovative attempts by the UN to work better on the ground. The MDG-F has approved over $300 million in joint programmes to-date to 45 of 59 eligible countries, involving 24 UN agencies.
“A more effective and responsive UN needs better financing from donors and we as donors need to be more effective,” said H.E. Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway. “We must support a more coherent UN at country level. I believe this initiative represents a major improvement in the way the UN secures predictable and untied resources. I am therefore pleased to announce that Norway will contribute 40 million dollars to the delivering as one multi-donor facility in 2009 and 2010.”
Joining Minister Moratinos at the launch were, H.E. Álvaro Colom, President of Guatemala; H.E. Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique; H.E. Douglas Alexander, UK Secretary of State for International Development; Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO; and Kemal Derviş, UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group.
“The UK is a strong supporter across the UN Development System and we want to put additional resources where they will have the most impact on the MDGs,” said Douglas Alexander. “We believe, and there is now growing evidence, that where the UN works as one to support country-led options it delivers more effectively. By coming together with Spain’s innovative MDG Fund, the UK is showing its commitment that where the UN reforms are taking place we will channel more development assistance through it.”
“By creating a more efficient system that is better able to respond to the serious environmental, economic and social development challenges we face, we get closer to ensuring our work benefits those who need it most,” added Kemal Derviş. “To these individuals, this initiative is about access to clean water and education for their children, and this new funding window will help us work together towards these goals.”
In addition to supporting the UN to “Deliver as One” Spain has also been providing support through its MDG Achievement Fund for joint programmes in gender, climate change, economic governance and conflict prevention and peace building. Since the Fund was launched in 2006, Guatemala for example has received over $22.4 million in joint programme funding. H.E. President Colom praised Spain not only for its significant contribution, but also for the fact that it was channeled through the United Nations, complementing Spain's considerable bilateral cooperation.
“The support Guatemala has received from the MDG-Fund so far has been consistent with our own strategic priorities,” said President Colom. “Guatemala has worked in close cooperation with UN agencies and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI) to identify strategic projects to be supported by the fund.”
The Delivering as One approach has delivered some important results elsewhere too, including Mozambique one of eight countries piloting efforts to deliver as one.
“This expanded delivering as one window to be opened to other donors under the MDG Achievement Fund will draw on the tested experience that the budget support mechanism has accumulated,” said President Armando Emilio Guebuza. “It is fortunate that Spain, Norway and the United Kingdom are members of the Group of 19 development partners in direct budget support and so they can bring their experience to enrich our discussion.”