Phnom Penh, 20 January 2019: While the speed, dynamics and complexity of today’s development challenges are fundamentally different from previous eras in history, we have only 10 years to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. These range from poverty and gender to climate change and inequality. To date, the development system has not been able to address these challenges effectively.

However, with funding from our core partners, the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) today launched the UNDP Accelerator Labs in Cambodia. The Accelerator Labs introduce a new way of working in development to test and scale sustainable solutions to these complex 21st century challenges.

The Accelerator Labs are a new service offering that works with people, governments, private sector and civil society to re-imagine the current development approach. With 60 teams across the globe, the Accelerator Labs aim at building the largest and fastest global learning network on development challenges. This network will combine grassroots innovation with new sources of real-time data and experimentation, delving deeper into and exploring solutions to challenges such as the circular economy, youth employment, and climate change.

“We all need to be faster and more entrepreneurial if we are going to hit the sustainable development goals by 2030. The Accelerator Labs in Cambodia and in 59 other countries are how UNDP is meeting that challenge, re-energizing our work and our provision of development solutions,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative.

Speaking at the launch event, Benjamin Knödler, Counsellor at the Embassy of Germany to Cambodia raised that “if we want to end poverty and mitigate climate change impact by 2030, we need to move beyond business as usual, be creative and accelerate our efforts. This is what the UNDP Accelerator Labs are meant to achieve - in Cambodia and worldwide.”

The launch event brought together a broad range of actors including the Royal Government, startups, non-governmental organizations, academia, private sector and the United Nations agencies, to showcase local innovation across sectors and introduce new approaches to development challenges.

UNDP is seeking additional partners and investment to expand its portfolio to test and grow a variety of solutions that match the aspiration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more about the UNDP Accelerator Labs through this site https://kh-undp.shorthandstories.com/acc-labs-cambodia/index.html

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