New faces to UNDP South Sudan
This summer brought much change to UNDP South Sudan. After four years, Ms. Lise Grande said goodbye to South Sudan and assumed a new role as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India. Mr. Toby Lanzer (L) came on board in July as Deputy Special Representative in UNMISS, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of UNDP. In August, Mr. Balázs Horváth (R) then joined the UNDP South Sudan team as Country Director.
Mr. Lanzer brings to the position experience in development, humanitarian affairs and peacekeeping since first joining UNDP in 1992. His most recent positions have included Chief of Staff of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Deputy Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and UNDP Resident Representative in the Central African Republic. Commenting on his new position, Mr. Lanzer said “It is a great honour for me to work in the world’s newest country. I look forward to working with the South Sudanese people, the UN family and other partners towards building a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous South Sudan.”
Mr. Horváth is responsible for overall management of the UNDP programme supporting the Government of South Sudan. Prior to joining UNDP South Sudan, he was Director a.i. of the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre. He led UNDP’s work on poverty reduction in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States for nearly four years. His main areas of expertise include economic policies to reduce poverty, social protection, and policies for sustainable development. Before joining UNDP in 2009, Mr. Horváth worked with the International Monetary Fund in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Iran, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Montenegro, and Sweden, and also served as IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine from 2007 to 2009. On his new position, Mr. Horváth stated “South Sudan faces some of the greatest challenges but at the same time presents many opportunities. I am excited to work with our Government counterparts in achieving the goals outlined in the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP).”
UNDP’s programme supports the development priorities detailed in the SSDP in the areas of governance, economic growth, social and human development, conflict prevention and security as well as rule of law. Although the challenges facing South Sudan may seem daunting, progress has been made in building government capacity at all levels, fostering livelihoods, supporting needed health services, giving communities a voice and promoting the rule of law. Due to the current austerity context, UNDP has sharpened its efforts to concentrate on supporting the government in specific, core functions including planning and financial management, accountability and oversight, conflict prevention and access to justice.