Criticism of UN agency for not ending poverty
The United Nations Development Programme, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, is under fire for not properly tackling its main objective - poverty reduction.
The programme, which has an annual budget of about 5 billion US dollars, has been criticised by its own board in a report evaluating its efforts to reduce poverty.
The report said it is unclear how effective the programme's projects have been. It said that could be because evaluations are limited, but it also reflects a lack of focus on the poor.
The report also said the poor are often not direct beneficiaries of the programme's projects, which include border management and advising on trade promotion.
One of the programme's goals is to cut the rate of extreme poverty in half by 2015.
Between 2004 -2011, the UN spent more than $US8.5 billion on poverty, about 26% of its total programme.
But according to the World Bank, there are still nearly 1.3 billion people living in poverty, down from over 1.9 billion, in 1981.
The report recommended the UNDP forges stronger links with wider communities and more partnerships with other UN agencies, as well as more specific targetting of poor communities.