To promote equitable and sustainable development, and to support the country’s integration into the European Union, the United Nations has initiated a strategy for North Macedonia for 2016-2020, entitled the ‘Partnership for Sustainable Development’. More and better jobs, more responsive governance, better lives for vulnerable people, gender equality and a cleaner, greener, more resilient environment are the UN’s five strategic priorities. The strategy was developed in partnership with groups at national level, and works to support a wide range of national sector strategies and action plans. Internationally, it serves to align UN activities in the country with the Sustainable Development Goals and with European Union accession criteria. The Government endorsed the UN strategy on 26 October 2016.

PRIORITIES FOR 2017-2020


1

Employment

2

Good governance

3

Social inclusion

4

Environmental sustainability

5

Gender equality

6

Refugees and migrants

Social inclusion


CHALLENGE

Economic growth has yet to show improved well-being for all income groups in North Macedonia. The wage gap remains pronounced: the country’s Gini coefficient is among the highest in the region, measured at 35.4% in 2014. A particularly vulnerable community is the Roma, estimated at around 5% of the population. The Roma experience many kinds of exclusion and outright discrimination in areas including income, healthcare, education, employment prospects, and living conditions. Persons with disabilities are a second marginalized group, only a fraction of children with disabilities receive any kind of formal education. Health is a final focus. Despite an increase in life expectancy in Macedonia, the premature mortality caused by non-communicable “lifestyle” diseases such as heart disease and diabetes is a rising concern.

OUTCOME

By 2020, more members of socially excluded and vulnerable groups should be able to exercise their rights and enjoy a better quality of life and equitable access to basic services.

SOLUTIONS

To address the problem of social division, UN agencies focus on promoting wellbeing and access to services, including inclusive and high-quality education for all. Special focus is be placed on guaranteeing accessible, affordable and adequate social services to the most vulnerable and on the development of participatory mechanisms to strengthen the voices of citizens and to increase their awareness about available services. Efforts are being undertaken to target the truly needy and to ensure that social benefits reach all those eligible.

PROJECT FUNDINGS

29.3 million US dollars.