Improving public transport, electrification, legal assistance for girls and women who have been subjected to violence. These and other UN agency projects in forty countries around the world, including in Central Asia, are funded from the Peacebuilding Fund: the UN believes that improving the living conditions of the population helps to prevent conflicts.
In general, more than $ 180 million were allocated to projects around the world in 2018, which is a record. This is stated in the report of the UN Secretary General on the activities of the Peacebuilding Fund for the previous year. Further expansion of the Fund’s activities is one of the components of the overall reform plan. The coordinators of UN activities in the field, as planned, should identify in each country the possibilities for implementing projects that can truly change the lives of people.
Last year, in the countries of Central Asia, for example, in partnership with the UN Regional Center of Preventive Diplomacy, the Foundation implemented a number of such programs. 2 million dollars, in particular, were allocated for projects in 11 localities of Kyrgyzstan: they helped with electrification somewhere, somewhere with public transport, somewhere they just installed street lights.
The initiative to prevent radicalization of youth in the countries of the region initially allocated $ 1 million, and later found additional funds - it turned out that projects to combat unemployment and exclusion of young people help effectively eliminate the root causes of religious radicalism.
Three years ago, the first transboundary project of the Foundation was launched in the region with the participation of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It reduced the number of conflicts along the border between the two countries from 34 in 2015 to 20 in 2018. By the way, as the Secretary General reports, this experience has helped the Foundation to decide on the financing of cross-border initiatives in Africa and Central America.
An important part of the work of the Peacebuilding Fund is programs aimed at empowering girls and women. Each year a competition of applications for funding is held, according to the results of which in 2018 $ 37.1 million was allocated for these purposes.
In one of these programs, UN agencies - UNICEF, the United Nations Development Program, the Population Fund and the Office for Combating Crime - trained 215 police officers and employees of the ministries of internal affairs of the Central Asian countries. This included the prevention of gender-based violence. As a result of this project, 15 civil cases were initiated according to the statements of women and girls. As stated in the report of the UN Secretary General, "this demonstrates the nascent confidence of women in the legal system as a mechanism for asserting their rights."
The Peacebuilding Fund was established at the end of 2015 as the main financial instrument to provide first aid to States for peacekeeping. Conflicts do not arise from scratch - as a rule they are preceded by economic difficulties, isolation and discrimination of certain groups of the population, violation of basic human rights, friction on ethnic and religious grounds. If you take action in time, you can prevent a full-scale crisis.
The fund is based on contributions from UN member states. In his report, the UN head expressed his gratitude to the countries that last year increased their annual contributions: this is Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden. Denmark, for example, in recognition of the Fund’s role in providing security, allocated additional funds from its defense budget.