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Support for the Arab Human Development Reports

The Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) series has become a milestone in the broader debate over the development reform agenda in the Arab region, with AHDR recommendations increasingly reflected in development programming at the national and regional levels. The pioneering first AHDR, issued in 2002, identified three critical development deficits - in the acquisition of knowledge, in political freedoms and in women's rights.

To further encourage the development of AHDR-informed programming at the national-level, the Arab Human Development Report Trust Fund was established in 2003 with contributions from Denmark and the United Kingdom.

At Present, national AHDR projects are carried out in Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia, Syria and Morocco. Development programming in the 17 UNDP Country Offices [ (COs) in the Arab region have been aligning to address these deficits in line with the national development agendas and UNDP's mandate of poverty alleviation [] and the [Millennium Development Goals ] (MDGs).

At the Regional level, the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) launched a number of regional programmes aimed to establish sustainable initiatives, benchmarks and institutions to address the three deficits.

In the area of knowledge, the regional programmes promote information and communication technology for development ( ICTD), enhance educational quality assurance at the primary, secondary and higher education levels, and support longer-term capacity building in the region through the establishment of regional mechanisms.

The governance programme advances four pillars of good governance practice: (1) Rule of Law; (2) Transparency and Accountability; (3) Participation; and (4) Human Rights.

In the area of women's empowerment the HIV/AIDS Programme launched a Regional Women Religious Leaders Forum that culminated in the Tripoli Declaration and the Center for Arab Women's Training and Research (CAWTAR), originally supported as a joint project of UNDP, AGFUND [], and later the World Bank, CAWTAR has produced Arab Women Development Reports since 2001.