NEW YORK, July 7, 2014 — A new $5 million grant from the Government of Japan to the Millennium Villages Project will support the project’s work in Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda. The funds will support operations in four Millennium Villages sites—Sauri and Dertu (Kenya), Pampaida (Nigeria), and Mayange (Rwanda)—in keeping with Japan’s commitment to conflict prevention and peace-building in these regions.
This new grant builds upon Japan’s previous support for the Millennium Villages Project. Between 2006 and 2011, more than $20 million in funding from the Government of Japan—provided through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)—played an essential role in launching nine Millennium Villages Project sites. The Government’s support has extended to four additional countries (Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, and Mozambique) for the establishment of new project sites in partnership with the UNDP.
“This new grant demonstrates Japan and President Abe’s continued commitment to sustainable development, human security, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Millennium Villages Project. “We are tremendously grateful for the many years of support Japan has provided to the Project, and for Japan’s international leadership in supporting sub-Saharan African Governments in the progress being made toward eradicating extreme poverty.”
“We are proud to support the Millennium Villages Project as a leading model for countries in sub-Saharan Africa to constructively address their development challenges and ultimately eradicate rural poverty,” said Vitaly Vanshelboim of UNOPS.
The Millennium Villages Projects is a partnership initiative of Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute, Columbia University, with UNOPS as the lead executing organization. The Project’s aim is to demonstrate that progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in low-income rural sub-Saharan African villages can be made over a ten-year time frame by promoting a comprehensive package of low-cost, science-based interventions and practices within the budget structure recommended by the UN Millennium Project. The new grant from Japan will fund Year 9 in the four Project sites.
Millennium Promise provides the operational platform and resource mobilization for the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), which empowers communities to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. In partnership with The Earth Institute at Columbia University and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the MVP works with impoverished rural communities, African governments, and a global network of scientific, corporate, and non-governmental partners to apply evidence-based policies and interventions recommended by the UN Millennium Project, combined with local on-the-ground knowledge. Approximately 500,000 people live in the 10 Millennium Villages, all of which are located in “hunger hotspots” reflective of major farming systems across ten sub-Saharan African countries. The Project is demonstrating that the MDGs are achievable through a targeted, holistic, and cost-effective approach to community- and national- level investments.
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.