In the face of a rapidly changing global economic landscape and increasing inequalities, a strategy for sustained growth must ensure a form of industrialization that makes opportunities accessible to all people and broadly distributes income and non-income gains across society. The inability of countries to fully integrate solutions to social issues into targeted industrial and economic policies undermines the developmental potential of industry, thus widening income inequality gaps.
While there has been a broad decline in poverty worldwide, both extreme and moderate poverty remain primarily rural, with 75 per cent of the world’s poor living in rural areas where productivity is low, local economic activity is inadequately diversified, unemployment rates are high and jobs are insecure. Rural poverty has usually been reduced in contexts of rapid economic growth. However, it has persisted where policies failed to improve agro-industrial productivity and rural infrastructure as well as providing rural populations with access to social services.
Natural crises or conflicts cause social and economic dislocation, which reduces the productive capacity of the economy and the ability of the affected people to generate sustainable livelihoods. Socio-economic development is a key factor in a country’s ability to avoid, withstand or recover from internal and external shocks.
Against this background, UNIDO concentrates its efforts on the development of agro-industries, increasing the participation of women and youth in productive activities, and human security in post-crisis situations.
UNIDO’s services for the development of agro-industries focus on adding value to agricultural production by strengthening linkages between agriculture, industry and markets.
UNIDO supports the transformation of enterprises from the informal sector to the formal sector, with a special focus on simplifying and improving access to administrative company registration services. It also strives to improve women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities.
Based on its experience in post-crisis and human security programmes and projects, UNIDO responds to complex emergencies through activities that contribute to socio-economic as well as environmental and energy security both at national and local level.