Opening of the annual review of the the Strategy Paper on Growth and Second Generation Poverty Reduction (DSCRP II), and of the Government Action Programme (PAG)

Jul 9, 2014

Address by Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Prime Minister; Members of the Government; distinguished ambassadors; Heads of Missions, and members of the diplomatic corps;

Honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased and honoured to represent the Partners’ Coordination Group in opening this meeting. We will spent the next two days holding discussions in a transparent and constructive way on the progress, perspectives, and recommendations with regard to sustainable human development, growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

We are all – members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s government, technical and financial partners, and representatives of civil society – here to achieve a crucial stage in our partnership for development: the Comprehensive Review of the Strategy Paper on Growth and Second Generation Poverty Reduction (DSCRP II), and of the Government Action Programme (PAG).

The occasion prompts me to share three important points.

Firstly, I wish to congratulate the government of the DRC for the progress accomplished and the results achieved. But I must also highlight the challenges that we still face.

In addition to the country’s acknowledged macroeconomic performance, there are other encouraging results. I shall mention a few by way of example:

The rate of primary school enrolment is estimated at 90.5% in 2012, as against 75% in 2010 and 56% in 1990;

The gender parity index in primary schools is estimated at 0.87: very close to 1, the target ratio for 2015;

The percentage of children under the age of 1 who received a measles vaccine was at 71.6% in 2013-14, compared to 48% in 2010.

The percentage of births assisted by a qualified midwife was at 89.8% in 2012 as against 74% in 2010.

However, despite these substantial improvements, of which the government under your leadership should be proud, considerable efforts must be made to ensure that the recent economic growth is inclusive and sustainable; that the effects of this growth are not merely a matter of statistical performance, but felt in the everyday life of the people of Congo.

To this effect, we must put measures in place in order to:

Reduce the percentage of the population living below the poverty threshold, which is estimated to be greater than 63%;

Increase participation of women in public institutions and decision-making positions;

Reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, which are as yet still far from the 2015 target established by the Millennium Development Goals;

Improve the business climate, which is a precondition for the promotion of private sector investment (ranked 183 of 189 in the Doing Business 2014 report);

Introduce crucial institutional and structural reforms, and promote the struggle against corruption.

I come, therefore, to my second point: the government of the DRC leads the coordination of aid and development, which means the creation of a national framework of agreement-based coordination and of ensuring that the thematic groups work as well as possible.

The 2014 Review is an opportune moment to evaluate the status of key reforms, among them the six national commitments under the Addis Ababa framework agreement, as well as the national planning and monitoring systems. For this reason, the synergy among all the stakeholders should improve, along with the culture of accountability. This synergy should also develop within a national consensual framework concerning the coordination of development aid in order to facilitate, on the one hand, policy dialogue between the Government and the technical and financial partners and, on the other hand, to improve the coordination and management of development aid and to make this more effective.

Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

My third and final point is the following: Congolese people are the beneficiaries of aid to support sustainable human development. They should beinformed of the priorities selected by local and national authorities, and of the policy areas that are targeted. They should also benefit from the progress in their everyday lives, helping them to emerge from the vicious cycle of chronic poverty. This sense of ownership will permit them to have real agency in the process of development, which will then create a virtuous cycle.

With this in mind, I am very pleased to see this annual review of DSCRP 2 and of the government action programme become an institutionalised and regular practice, thanks to effective national ownership of the technical as well as of the financial aspects of the plan. This is also apparent as much in the organisation of the current comprehensive review as in the sectoral reviews that were carried out at central and provincial levels. But this sense of ownership also implies a transfer of knowledge and skills from the partners to support? the principles governing aid efficiency.

Bearing in mind the enormous challenges facing the DRC if it is to achieve the DSCRP 2, and if the Congolese people throughout the country are to benefit from the peace dividend, I hope that this comprehensive review will set out relevant recommendations that will help with the implementation of the priority actions, and focus the energies of all stakeholders in the country’s development.

I would like to close my remarks by thanking the Government and the Minister for Planning as well as the Ministers responsible for the sectors that are the subject of this Comprehensive Review, for their assistance, and for the support they have given to the technical work involved in the sectoral reviews.

Finally, I would like to reiterate the technical and financial partners’ and firm commitment to support the Government of the DRC and the Congolese people in their journey towards development and enhanced welfare. Our strong engagement with this annual Review is the proof of this.

I wish you all success in your endeavours.

Thank you for your attention

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