The United Nations Convention on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a technical assistance programme for promoting the complementarity of trade, environment and development objectives in developing countries. Under the joint technical assistance programme, UNCTAD and UNEP will develop policy options for the governments of developing countries when they seek to integrate environmental considerations in their macroeconomic policies, including trade policies. They will also propose policy instruments and mechanisms, including technology transfer, market access, finance and capacity-building, to facilitate the internalisation of environmental costs.

A United Nations poverty alleviation programme for the Ohangwena region in northern Namibia will begin this month. The US $1 million programme will be for Namibia's poorest and most populous region where several UN agencies will help to fight rural poverty and under-development. In the Ohangwena region, 48 per cent of the people are illiterate and 72 per cent do not have access to clean water. The programme will focus upon health, education, food security, community enterprise, reproductive health and renewable energy components.