(a) High HIV and AIDS prevalence, which has contributed to the continued breakdown in social service delivery; reduction in household incomes; and a less than optimal national economic growth rate.
(b) High poverty levels in spite of the country having a relatively high GDP per capita income of US$2,415. About 69 per cent of the country’s 1.018 million people live below the national poverty line and income distribution is highly skewed. Swaziland’s target under the MDGs is to halve the income inequality from 51 percent in 2001 to 25 percent in 2015.
(c) Sluggish economic growth, with the country’s GDP growth rate declining in the last two decades, a state of affairs that has been worsened by recurrent droughts, declining export receipts, volatile exchange rates, and the erosion of trade preferences. The net result of the sluggish economic growth has translated into significant adverse effects on social sector expenditure which, in turn, has contributed to the worsening poverty levels.
(d) Weak human development and fragile basic social services, a state of affairs that is exemplified by significant wealth redistribution challenges; decelerating population; weak education and training structures; frail health system; and weak human resource capacity for the provision of quality basic social services. The country also faces significant challenges with increased burden of communicable, non-communicable and epidemic diseases.
(e) Governance challenges due, in part, to the country’s dual political system. The Constitution passed in 2005 provides for fundamental rights and freedoms as well as greater decentralization in the provision of services. Some of the outstanding challenges relate to gender and human rights; the protection of social, cultural and economic rights; transparency and accountability in public sector management; access to Justice and Rule of Law; and inadequate domestication of international and regional conventions and treaties.
(f) Food security and nutrition challenges largely due to successive years of drought attributed to climate change; multi-dimensional impacts of HIV and AIDS; dependence on production under rain-fed conditions; and declining use of improved agricultural technology.
(g) Gender inequality with women being worse off in terms of poverty prevalence. Women’s access to productive assets, including land, continues to perpetuate the problem of gender inequality.
(h) Environmental conditions that are non-sustainable, with climate change posing adverse impacts on human health, food security, economic activity, and physical infrastructure.
Based on the findings catalogued above, the UNDAF preparatory process ensured that some of these challenges are captured in its core programme of activities over the period 2011-2015. Guided by Swaziland’s policies and priorities and utilizing a consultative process at different levels both within the UN System and between the UN and its strategic partners, and under the overall leadership of the Joint Steering Committee (co-chaired by the Government and the UN), the UNDAF preparation was clearly inclusive. The following are the four UNDAF Pillars and the associated UNDAF Outcomes during its 2011-2015 lifespan:
The UNDAF Outcomes identified were:
1. HIV and AIDS: To contribute to reduced new HIV infections and improved quality of life of persons infected and affected by HIV by 2015
2. Poverty and Sustainable Livelihoods: Increased and more equitable access of the poor to assets and other resources for sustainable livelihoods
3. Human Development and Basic Social Services: Increased access to and utilization of quality basic social services, especially for women, children, and disadvantaged groups
4. Governance: Strengthened national capacities for the promotion and protection of rights
The identification of the outomes enables UN agencies to use their respective development mandates and articulate in broad detail how they will contribute to the UNDAF outcomes during the next five years.