The Sustainable Development Goals in Eritrea
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Eritrea:
08 June 2023
World Environment Day 2023: Together to find Solutions to Plastic Pollution
Eritrea joined millions worldwide in celebrating World Environment Day 2023. This year with an important milestone for the global environmental community and marking 50 years since the 1973 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, is widely seen as the first international meeting on the environment. Led by the Ministry of Land, Water, and Environment (MoLWE) and in partnership with UNDP Co in Eritrea, World Environment Day 2023 was celebrated on 5 June 2023 in Asmara, Eritrea. Celebrated since 2021 by the MoLWE, World Environment Day has become a national platform for public environmental outreach of promoting and raising awareness among the public about the environment and reflecting upon the consequences of environmental mismanagement. This year, under the theme “Solution to Plastic Pollution”, it was emphasized the importance of plastic pollution control and mitigation to address one of the significant environmental challenges of our time and raise awareness of people on the need to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on people’s health and the threat it poses to the environment and wildlife. This year’s celebration primarily targeted students with the recognition that they can play a key role in tackling climate change. A general knowledge competition was organized ahead of World Environment Day, comprising twenty-two students (from 10th grade) selected from schools in the Central region of Eritrea. Six students made it to the final stage which was broadcasted on National Television. The top-ranked students were awarded during the World Environment Day event that was held on June 5, 2023. During the Celebration, two young students delivered powerful messages emphasizing the need to act now before it is too late and become actors of change by contributing towards climate change solutions to save the environment. The main event was attended by the Minister of Land, Water, and Environment, H.E. Mr. Tesfai Ghebreselassie, UN Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, a.i. Mr. Vincent Omuga, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Eritrea, Ms. Nashida Sattar, and Eritrea High Governmental officials. The UNDP Eritrea Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Nashida Sattar, highlighted in her remarks, "As Eritrea's partners, it is a duty and honor to celebrate all the progressive efforts the country has embarked on. In the early days of environmental consciousness, Eritrea decisively took the lead by prohibiting the use of plastic bags in 2005. Many steps have also been taken to improve the legislative and policy framework, contribute to environmental conservation efforts, and control air and water pollution. The efforts to increase the use of alternative energy have also reduced the pressure on the resources while securing the population's health, particularly women and children." During the colorful World Environment Day 2023, as part of the MLWE awareness effort, a Presentation on Plastic Pollution was delivered to the audience. The event was also an occasion for awarding six winners of the UNDP Gender and Climate Solutions Award initiative started in April 2023 and six Eritrean public and private companies engaged in plastic waste recycling. Eritrea has shown commendable commitment by actively working on its environmental policy framework while consistently placing the people at the center of the development agenda. This strategy allows communities, individuals, grassroots, and civil society organizations to lead the way in finding real, inclusive, and sustainable solutions to the conservation and protection of the environment. UNDP Eritrea Country Office continues to partner with the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment and the Government of Eritrea for initiatives in designing action plans responsive to climate impacts, reducing emissions, contributing to biodiversity conservation, and protecting the livelihoods of society. Aligned with the 2030 Agenda, UNDP collaborates with the Government of the State of Eritrea to support the country’s long-term development and social equity aspirations through sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection.
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25 May 2023
Eritrea: Commemoration of World Health Day and WHO’s 75th Anniversary
In her official opening speech of the event, Ms. Amina Nurhusein, Minister of Health highlighted Eritrea’s strides in the health sector since independence in 1991. She gave a synopsis of significant progress Eritrea has registered, in controlling and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as vaccination programs and strides to reduce maternal and neonatal death rates. Minister Amina noted that the achievements registered so far are indicative of encouraging progress Eritrea will make towards attaining UHC and Health related Sustainable Development Goals. UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Eritrea, Mr. Vincent Omuga pointed out that the large presence of Government Ministers and other senior leaders within the health sector in the event shows the importance Eritrea is attaching to health and well-being of its citizens. Dr. Martins Ovberedjo, WHO Representative, on his part appreciated the Government of State of Eritrea, development partners and the communities for their commitment and contribution to achieving collective effort to develop the health sector and provide equitable health services to citizens. The day’s highlight included Fiorina Youth cultural group which brightened the day through their songs and poems of conveying messages of World Health Day.
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09 February 2023
Fostering aspiration with the new Massawa Workers Vocational Training Center Cisco Academy
In line with its improvement-oriented innovation vision, UNDP was engaged in creating a partnership with Cisco and the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW), conforming to its Corporate Social Responsibility to support initiating the timely and valuable Cisco IT and networking certification training that would enhance the connectivity of the country’s development institution free of charge. This initiative was triggered thanks to the Massawa Workers’ Vocational Training Centre (MWVTC) teachers` exchange visit sponsored by the UNDP to Rwanda and Uganda on 09-12 March 2020, where the value of Cisco training was recognized. Furthermore, the fostering aspiration of the MWVTC to acquire such an advanced technological skill was realized by enrolling six of its teachers in the CISCO distance learning academy. The UNDP Eritrea office partnered with the NCEW to sponsor the training, launched on July 26th, 2021. The MWVTC has now been equipped with competent instructors required to establish its own CISCO network academy; therefore, the NCEW-MWVTC re-established the academy under the name of “Massawa Workers Vocational Training Center Cisco Academy.” The establishment of the Cisco Network academy requires qualified instructors trained and certified in the Cisco networking program. Therefore, training was arranged for six Instructors of MWVTC and included the following courses: 1. ITE (IT Essentials) 2. CCNA v7 (Cisco Certified Network Assistant) 3. DevNet Associate 4. CyberOps Associate The six instructors who participated in the CISCO courses have had prior qualifications as engineers graduating from the Mai Nefhi Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT). Out of the six instructors who took the CISCO CCNA courses, four passed, one deferred the exam for technical reasons, and one failed the certification exam. Nonetheless, the undertaking was generally a successful endeavor. It is to be recalled that the Massawa Workers Vocational Training Center has seven available workshops, namely Electricity, Electronics, Woodwork, Metal Work, Computer Application, Computer Networking, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC-R). The Cisco Network Academy, established, adds value to the Massawa Workers Vocational training by providing the center the opportunity to connect to the world with its workshops. Furthermore, the Cisco Network Academy excels in creating a new learning platform for Eritrean youth with its capabilities to train people in many different aspects of Computer Technology (Networking) and empower youth to become competent professionals in the global job market. Aside from partnering with the NCEW in providing CISCO training, UNDP and Cisco also played a vital role in establishing the Massawa Workers Vocational Training Center cisco academy by providing equipment and other necessary facilities that strengthened its capacity. Dedication and hardworking have been critical components invested so far for the advancement of the Massawa Workers Vocational Training Center. The management and staff of the MWVTC expressed their deep appreciation for the support and consultations accorded by the UNDP leadership and staff, as well as the relentless contribution and support made by CISCO international marketing director Mr. David Andemichael.
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07 February 2023
Eritrea launched Strategic Plan for the Implementation of Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health – Nutrition and Health Aging (RMNCAH - NUT & HAA) 2022-2026
On 13 January 2023 the Ministry of Health, Eritrea, launched the Strategic Plan for the Implementation of Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health – Nutrition and Health Aging (RMNCAH - NUT & HAA) 2022-2026. The launch ceremony took place in the presence of Honourable Minister of Health, Mrs. Amina Nurhussien s at the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers. The Ministry of Health led the development of the strategic plan and the UN Agencies : WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNAIDS jointly supported the process both technically and financially. The RMNCAH & HA Strategic Plan 2022–2026 aims to guide the implementation of high-impact evidence-based interventions to improve maternal, newborn, child, adolescent and older people outcomes towards attainment of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 5 (Gender equality). Ensuring universal access to comprehensive, high-impact, quality, cost-effective and culturally sensitive reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and healthy ageing services to all Eritreans along the continuum of care in an equitable and efficient manner is the main mission of this document. The Ministry of Health called for accelerated action and increased investments in line with the costed strategic plan to meet the SDG targets by 2030. This will aid accelerated progress towards ending all preventable deaths of women, newborns, children and realization of the health and wellbeing of adolescents and elders in Eritrea.
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07 February 2023
16 Days of Activism Against GBV
UNFPA in collaboration with the NUEW and other UN Agencies organized this year’s 16 Days Commemoration event which was held under the themes “Unite to End Violence Against Women” & “Unite to a Sustained Peace”. Among the attendees, Mr. Tesfai Gebresalasie, Minister of Land Water & Environment and Ms. Fawzia Hashim, Minister of Justice. Mrs. Senait Mehari who stood in for Mrs. Tekea Tesfamichael (NUEW President) started off the commemoration event by thanking the health personnel who have been working through the COVID-19 pandemic and by taking a moment to remember those who lost their lives to it. Mrs. Senait highlighted some of the work the Government of the State of Eritrea has mandated NUEW with to deal with issues of women through principled documents such as the National Charter and National Gender Policy and Action Plan which aim to achieve equal opportunity and capability for women, men, girls and boys. Mrs. Senait went on to explain the social, physical, health and psychological effects of harmful traditional practices, stating that if we are to improve prospects for the next generation this society must all contribute to empowering women. Mrs. Senait concluded by acknowledging the different stakeholders’ efforts in establishing committees to raising the level of awareness of the community on the issue of Gender Based Violence, and to actively participating in campaigns against GBV. Mr. Ohashi (UNFPA Representative) followed by thanking NUEW (National Union of Eritrean Women) for their work towards the advancement of women and girls in Eritrea under the country’s leadership, as well as the work done towards improving the health outcomes and well-being of women and girls alongside the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor & Social Welfare. He then went on to highlighting the cycle of events that follow FGM and under-age marriage, and the discrimination of women that is rooted within society. Mr. Ohashi concluded that this is everyone’s responsibility and commended the Government of the State of Eritrea on their hard work ensuring equal opportunities for men and women, girls and boys. Mr. Ohashi’s speech was followed by Solidarity messages from the NCEW (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers), NUEYS (National Union of Eritrean Youths & Students), UNAIDS, UNDP & UNICEF. Following this a Classical Live Music Performance by a group of talented young students opening up for the legendary Mrs. Birkti Weldesalassie. They did more than hold their own against her powerful musical show titled “Break the Chain”. Afterwards an in depth Panel Discussion was held by a group Young Professional Women on “How to get united to end Violence Against Women” leaving us with something to think about as we went into our first break. After the break an informative Two-part Presentation Contest took part between High School Students who were tested in their oratory, knowledge and persuasion to name a few of the criteria. Several poems were also performed by different students which took us to the final event, the results of the contest and rewarding of the contestants.
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