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South-South cooperation

South-South and triangular cooperation are bold, innovative, and growing means to strengthen cooperation for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity to eradicate poverty.

There is substantive evidence showing that South–South trade and investments have the potential to accelerate improvements in health, education, social welfare, in harnessing knowledge and experience, and in establishing critical partnerships which is instrumental to fast tracking the Sustainable Development Goals. South-South and triangular cooperation involves the kind of cooperation that creates jobs, strengthens trade, improves infrastructure, transfers technology, promotes regional integration and benefits all countries involved.

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Infrastructure accounts for more than 55% of South-South cooperation projects.
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In 2016, UNDP reported 500+ South-South cooperation projects in 120+ countries.
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In 2013, the estimated value of South-South cooperation exceeded US$ 20 billion and it's on the rise.
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With UNDP support, Bangladesh, China and Nepal work together to strengthen the resilience of communities affected by natural disasters.
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Brazil partners with Angola in establishing vocational training centres to prepare more than 1,200 students to enter the job market annually.
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With UNDP support, Jordan and Iraq join forces and make significant progress towards reducing gender-based violence and increasing women’s access to justice.
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In 2014, South-South trade of goods exceeded US$ 5.5 trillion.
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Argentina works with Haiti to improve agricultural practices, nutrition and health benefiting more than 40,000 families.

UNDP sees this kind of cooperation as an accelerator and multiplier of sustainable development. And as the leading development agency in the UN system, UNDP plays a key role as a catalyst of South-South cooperation. Its global footprint and knowledge base makes UNDP a valued partner for developing countries to turn to one another and work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP has made a strategic commitment to helping countries to expand engagement in mutual learning and solution sharing for a more rapid and sustainable development progress. More than 100 of UNDP’s 130 Country Offices collaborated with national governments and other partners in SSC activities in 2018 and in doing so, supported partnerships with over 180 other countries through more than 900 initiatives. 

Our portfolio of initiatives on South-South cooperation includes:

- Solutions exchange platform SSMart for sustainable development

Global coalition of think tank networks for South-South cooperation

- Saemaul Initiative towards inclusive and sustainable communities

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