Ethiopia Launches the One UN Fund

22 Jan 2011
Ethiopia Launches the One UN Fund

Addis Ababa - Heads of Agency from the UN Country Team in Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 12 January 2010 officially launching the One UN Fund. This was a major step for Ethiopia in concretizing the UN Delivery as One (DaO) agenda.

The State Minister for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), H.E. Ahmed Shide congratulated the UN and noted that the signing of the MoU showed the UN’s commitment to reform for better aid effectiveness. 

Ethiopia is not one of the eight DaO countries. The country became a volunteer self-starter in 2008 and within two years made a lot of progress. This includes establishing a High Level Steering Committee, endorsing a DaO road map, launching joint flagship programmes and developing a joint communications strategy, with the full backing of the Government of Ethiopia who has taken ownership and leadership of the process.

The Government of Ethiopia has launched an ambitious “Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP)” five-year plan as of 2011 to which the UN will align its support through its UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and utilization of the One UN Fund. 

The One UN Fund in Ethiopia will provide resources to the One UN Programme, currently comprising eight joint programmes (five MDG Funds, and three flagship joint programmes), and also support change management activities and provide the flexibility to respond to up and coming issues. Overall, the estimated budget for the Ethiopia One UN Programme is USD 159.5 million. The funding gap of USD 80M is expected to be addressed from mobilization through the One Fund.

With 25 agencies working with different mandates in the country, Ethiopia plays host to one of the largest UN presences in Africa.  The unique context of Ethiopia was acknowledged at the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa by Mr. Bisrat Aklilu, Executive Coordinator of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office. He noted that, “From the outset DaO has been guided by the principle that ‘one size does not fit all’. As a result, the experience of the DaO countries varies, reflecting the very different country contexts and development situations and needs. 

The Fund is also expected to play a key role in enhancing transparency and the planning process. It will also strengthen predictability of development resources and aid which is one of the key goals of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

This is important because the country is also home to a large number of development partners, 26 of whom have been working together for the past ten years as the Development Assistance Group (DAG). UNDP provides leadership in the DAG as a permanent member of the Executive Committee, and one of the rotating multilateral co-chairs of the group along with the World Bank.

With the signing of the One UN Fund, the UN Country Team in Ethiopia has helped the donors and development partners with a clear and coherent resource focal point for partnerships and resource disbursements to the United Nations. 

Photo: One UN fund signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From left to right: Mr. Bisrat Aklilu, MDTF Office Executive Coordinator, H.E. State Minister Ahmed Shide (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development), Mr. Eugene Owusu, UN Resident Coordinator. 

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