The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nation’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It is on the ground in 177 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and its wide range of partners to bring about results.

UNDP is a founding Cosponsor of UNAIDS, a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and a cosponsor of several other international health partnerships. UNDP’s work on HIV, health and development leverages the organization’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist healthfocused United Nations agencies.

UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2014–2017 recognizes the wide-ranging social and economic impacts of HIV and the synergies between health and sustainable development. To effectively address HIV, future health threats and the development challenges they pose, UNDP addresses HIV as a cross-cutting issue that is highlighted in two substantive areas of work: adopting sustainable development pathways and strengthening inclusive and effective democratic governance.



UNDP delivers three types of support to countries in HIV, health and development:

  • UNDP helps countries to mainstream attention to HIV and health into action on gender, poverty and the broader effort to achieve and sustain the Millennium Development Goals. For example, UNDP works with countries to understand the social and economic factors that play a crucial role in driving health and disease, and to respond to such dynamics with appropriate policies and programmes outside the health sector. UNDP also promotes specific action on the needs and rights of women and girls as they relate to HIV, for example by addressing HIV-related discrimination and violence against women.
  • UNDP works with partners to address the interactions between governance, human rights and health responses. Human rights based approaches to health that focus on reducing inequities and reaching the most marginalized are at the heart of effective development solutions. UNDP facilitates stronger HIV responses by promoting attention to the role of legal environments through working with governments, civil society and United Nations partners on addressing the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law on a range of issues, including criminalization, gender equality and women’s empowerment, the rights of sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people and treatment access. Beyond these focused efforts, UNDP plays a key role in ensuring attention to HIV and health within broader governance and rights initiatives, including strengthening local governance and national capacities to secure more equitable access to services for people affected by HIV, and reinforcing the rule of law and the reform of legal systems in order to respond to discrimination against people affected by HIV.
  • UNDP supports countries in the effective implementation of complex health programmes, while simultaneously investing in capacity development so that national and local partners can assume these responsibilities over time. UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund is an important part of this work, facilitating access to resources for action on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by countries that face constraints in directly receiving and managing such funding. UNDP partners with countries in crisis/postcrisis situations, those with weak institutional capacity or governance challenges, and countries under sanctions. When requested, UNDP acts as interim principal recipient in these settings, and combines implementation support and capacity development with policy and technical engagement. This has contributed to significantly improving the delivery of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria services in some of the most complex, high-risk developing country settings.


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