It works! The MDG-Fund –Culture and Development Thematic Window

Traditional Li textile techniques:spinning, dyeing, weaving and embrodering. Photographer: Wang Haichang © UNESCO


Established in 2006, the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F), funded by Spain, seeks to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs. Building on the comparative advantage of United Nations organizations, the MDG-F supports national governments, local authorities and civil society organizations in their efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in eight thematic areas, including Culture and Development. UNESCO, as the UN specialized agency with a specific mandate on culture, is responsible for this theme.

Through this fund, eighteen Culture and Development Joint Programmes have been implemented worldwide for a total of amount 95 million USD and have reached out to approximately 1 million direct and 7 million indirect beneficiaries, targeting in particular indigenous and ethnic groups as well as women and youth.

These programmes give clear evidence that culture is an economic sector which generates incomes and jobs, thereby contributing to poverty eradication (MDG1); that culturally adapted curricula content allows for improved quality education and citizenship building (MDG2); that culture-oriented activities such as craft entrepreneurships are a source of gender empowerment (MDG 3); that socio-cultural approaches to health lead to cost-effective and more efficient health policies (MDG 4, 5 and 6); and that cultural and traditional know-how are inexhaustible resources for sustainable environment and livelihoods (MDG7). The MDG-F programmes have also enhanced cooperation among partners nationally and internationally, thus contributing to global partnership (MDG8), while building strong national ownership through highly participatory processes.

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