Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bihar catches UN fancy

PATNA: The United Nations has included Bihar in its select list of seven Indian states where it plans to introduce a slew of welfare and developmental programmes during its four-year plan. A total of 200 districts across the seven states will be benefited under the scheme.

UN Resident Coordinator Dr Maxine Olson told TOI on Saturday that the UN System in India was in the process of formulating its next UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the programme cycle 2008-12. "The mission of this four-year plan is to promote social, economic and political inclusion of the most disadvantaged, particularly women and girls," said Olson, who is also the UNDP Resident Representative in India.

She further said that the UNDAF programme has been harmonised substantially in terms of its time frame with India’s 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12). Olson was here in connection with a programme of the Bihar Legislative Forum on HIV/AIDS held in the assembly annexe on Saturday.

The programmes to be taken up in Bihar in close collaboration with the state government include quality education, coordinated HIV/AIDS and STD response through awareness, capacity building of Panchayati Raj institutions and environmental management, she said.

Olson said the districts will be shortlisted later and in consultation with the state government, the magnitude of the programme and its range would be decided.

Olson said, "The United Nations shares a very valuable relationship with Bihar and has been working in partnership with the state government on various developmental issues."

She disclosed that the UNDAF has spent around three million dollars on its schemes in Bihar in the last five years.
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