Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories

UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.

Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.

GFP Global Focal Point Highlights


In recent decades, the Arab States region has been plagued by armed conflict, political instability and humanitarian crises. In 2021, countries like Syria and Yemen continued to experience devastating conflict. Other countries in the region, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan, have seen growing fragilities, experienced shifts and uprisings, with justice at the heart of demands. As a consequence of such volatile environments, the region is not only the origin but also the host of many of the world's refugees. Syrian, Sudanese, Somali and Palestinian nationals represent some of the largest refugee communities around the world, while Jordan and Lebanon host the most refugees globally per capita.1

Though the region has seen some positive developments towards the 2030 Agenda, persistent inequalities, compromised human rights and limited access to basic services prevent the realization of its full potential. In an already fragile context and in the region that had also been severely affected by a drop in oil prices and job losses, the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing climate related threats have impacted on the regional economy, magnifying existing socio-economic vulnerabilities.

The current state of the region affords an opportunity to explore effective strategies to build peace and recover from the impact of recent conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, at least three Country Offices progressed with support to informal justice mechanisms, such as in Somalia, Syria and Yemen. UNDP also continued its formal justice sector support, including legal aid. In Lebanon, 2,722 people (including 1,648 women) benefited from legal aid services and awareness raising sessions delivered by the three legal aid helpdesks established in 2021.

Growing attention in UNDP’s programming was dedicated to the advantages of area-based and localized approaches. In Iraq, UNDP supported 11 local civil society organizations to implement projects to identify security issues and build community-police partnership to address them. This and other activities resulted in an over 10 percent increase in public trust in the police. In Libya and Somalia, two missions were undertaken in coordination with the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP).

Vulnerable groups, such as women and girls, had limited protection against the various repercussions of COVID-19 and the pandemic response. Women in the region continue to have limited access to basic services and their rights are often restricted in practice even when they exist on paper. Building on the Gender Justice and Equality Before the Law Initiative and with a view toward future engagement on gender justice broadly, UNDP’s Regional Hub initiated a research paper on women’s rights implementation with a focus on access to finance, as well as a behavioural insights piloting exercise on gender justice.

In 2021, through an initial assessment of the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in the Arab States, UNDP reviewed the opportunities to foster this agenda and persisting challenges among private sector, government and civil society actors. The findings of the research, which will be published in a report in 2022, will serve as a starting point for conversations and engagement for the promotion of the UNGPs.