United Nations assistant secretary general and UNDP regional director for South Asia and Pacific Haoliang Xu visited the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Secretariat and assured to work together for strategic growth of SAARC member states and to achieve the UN SDGs, according to a SDF press release.

An MoU between SDF and UNDP was earlier signed in 2015, during the annual management committee meeting of UNDP at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The key goal for the MoU is to collaborate for the advancement of the 2030 Agenda in the South Asian countries especially SAARC member states.

According to SDF CEO Dr Sunil Motiwal, SDF has already started their cooperation by co-financing two UNDP projects in the SAARC region approved by the SDF board which are the Economic Empowerment of Women through Energy Access in Mountain Countries of South Asia and the Support to Value Chain development, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development and Improved Connectivity which primarily focuses on improving the economic livelihoods of marginalised communities and promote creative industries.

SDF and UNDP are in the process of signing the project financing agreements for the projects and it is expected that implementation of these two projects will commence soon.

Staff reporter