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A delegation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Secretariat led by the Director, Sophie de Caen, paid a one week visit to Ethiopia. The visit which took place between 28 June and 6 July had the objective of assessing the progress made in the implementation of joint programmes funded by the MDG Achievement Fund which is financed by the Government of Spain through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Ethiopia is the largest beneficiary of the MDG Achievement fund. Five joint programmes with a total budget of 26.5 million USD are now being supported by the MDG Achievement Fund in Ethiopia the area of gender equality and empowerment, climate change, culture and development, nutrition and private sector.

As part of the mission Ms. Sophie de Caen and Ms. Cruz Ciria, Head of the Spanish Cooperation in Ethiopia, visited programmes being implemented in two woredas in Tigray Region financed by this MDG Achievement Fund. Visits were made to the Leave No Woman Behind Joint Programme being supported by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Food Programme (WFP), and the Nutrition Joint Programme being supported by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), WFP, Food and Agricultural Organization, and World Health Organization. The Director held discussions with officials of the Tigray Regional Government, the coordinators of the programmes and members of communities benefiting from the  MDG-Programmes.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sophie De Caen held talks with senior officials of the Ethiopian Government, both at the federal and regional level, UN Agencies, and Civil Society Organizations involved in the implementation of activities of the MDG-Programmes.

MDG Achievement Fund Joint Programmes are nationally owned programmes that promote pro-poor public policies, strengthen national and local capacities and involve and benefit local populations. These programmes are supported by United Nations Participating Organizations and other partners such as civil society and the private sector. Ethiopia is one of the nine focus countries of the MDG Achievement Fund. The Fund was created in 2006 by the Government of Spain and UNDP with the objective of contributing towards the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals and fostering national ownership through the consolidation of public policies and strengthening social networks. The MDG Achievement Fund has successfully allocated almost 700 million USD of funding to 128 joint programmes in 49 countries across five regions.